Planning A Post-Pandemic Family Holiday Abroad

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In need of a holiday abroad when this pandemic is over? Below are a few tips for planning a post-pandemic family getaway.

When should you book your trip for?
Flights out of the country are currently banned and there is no news yet as to when this will change. Lockdown will likely last until March at the very least - but even after this flights may be restricted. Many airlines have suspended booking of all flights until March at the earliest. If the vaccines keep rolling out at the current rate and the virus is controlled, a summer holiday may be possible. However, there are likely to still be many restrictions in place in terms of activities and attractions - so you may want to look beyond September or even consider a 2022 holiday just to be safe.

Where should you go?
If you’re planning to book a holiday in the sun this autumn or winter, you may want to stick to southern Europe. You could travel to Greece - even in October, temperatures are still an average of 19 degrees celsius. The Balearic islands of Spain and southern Italy reach similar temperatures. Meanwhile, The Canary Islands experience temperatures above 20 degrees celsius even in December and January. 

You could also consider sunny destinations beyond Europe if you’re able to afford the flights. The Caribbean and South East Asia are warm all year round - however, you should be careful of storms and monsoons towards the end of the year. If you’re not worried about the sun, then there are plenty of other options to consider. You could consider a family ski holiday for next winter, a winter family cruise, or even a trip to Disneyland Paris.

Take advantage of discounts
Because of lockdown and the decreased demand, many travel companies are now offering discounts on holidays to attract more customers. By booking now, you may find that you’re able to bag a better deal than booking at a later date. 

Pay in installments
Booking far in advance could allow you the option to pay in installments. This could be more affordable than having to pay the full amount upfront. When booking a holiday for 2022, there could be the option to pay in smaller installments. Another alternative would be to set money aside each month in a separate account - then bank of Scotland can offer advice on this.

Beat the last-minute rush
Once lockdown is lifted and attractions have started opening up again, there is likely to be a rush of people booking up holidays. This could result in hotels and flights booking up quickly. By booking early you can secure a room at the hotel you want and flights at the time you desire. 

Something to look forward to Booking a holiday now could give you something to look forward to. Next time you’re feeling down because of lockdown, consider the fact that you could be jetting off at the end of the year - or at the very latest in 2022.

What are the risks of booking now? Some people are rightly apprehensive about booking holiday now. Because there’s no certainty as to when the pandemic will be over, people are worried that they may lose their money if the holiday doesn’t go ahead. A few risks include:

  • The possibility of flights being cancelled/hotels being closed/attractions being closed due to continued new restrictions.

  • The possibility of an airline/hotel/travel company going bust due to lost revenue from the pandemic. 

  • The possibility of getting the virus just before planning to fly out.

  • The possibility of not receiving a vaccine in time (it is unknown yet as to whether certain airlines or countries will allow tourists to go unless they’ve had a vaccine). 

  • The possibility of getting the virus abroad and not being able to fly back or pay for treatment.

By booking a holiday for 2022, you may be able to reduce the risk of this happening. If you’re booking a holiday for this year (particularly this summer) then you need to be prepared to face the risks. Fortunately, there are ways to reduce the risk of losing all your money - even if the holiday has to be cancelled. Some of the questions to ask as you book include:

What’s the cancellation/refund policy?
Some hotels and airlines may not be able to offer a refund and may even charge a cancellation fee. This is something to be wary of when booking a holiday. Check if a hotel or airline has a cancellation or refund policy before you book - if it’s not clearly displayed on the website, you should contact the company for this information.

Holiday packages are often a safe bet. All holiday packages are ATOL protected (if the airline or travel company goes bust, you will get your money back). Many are also offering flexible booking options right now, which is the next best thing to free cancellation or a refund - this allows you to reschedule your holiday for a later date within a certain time frame. 

Be wary that you may lose any deposit that you put down. If you’re planning to go away this summer, it may be better to try and pay the whole amount upfront. 

Should I insure my holiday?
Taking out travel insurance is recommended if you plan to book a holiday this year. You’ll be covered against any flight cancellations - which could be important if the airline does not offer free cancellation or a refund. Some travel insurance plans will also cover you if you need medical care for Covid-19 or if you need to rearrange your flight due to contracting the virus.

On top of travel insurance, you could also consider paying for some holiday by credit card. Most credit card providers are able to offer compensation for purchases that are cancelled - including holidays. In many cases, they can even pay you back money for a deposit that may have been lost. Check with your credit card provider beforehand to see what they cover. 

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