With summer plans just around the corner, and as restrictions lift across the world, the opportunities for travel abroad have opened up, meaning more and more Brits are now returning to the skies to holiday this year.
The last 2 years has seen a number of travel agents fail, and those that have survived have relied heavily on government grants and support. Unfortunately, the financial packages offered by no means met those needed by the industry. As we entered lockdown number one, many customers happily deferred their bookings and let the agents keep the cash. Once lockdown number two hit the UK, mindsets changed and refunds were demanded, leaving many travel agents in cash distress.
It is important to remember that if you book a package deal, you are ATOL protected and your money is perfectly safe and will be refunded should the operator fail.
The UK Government has removed all COVID-19 international travel restrictions for arriving passengers so travellers arriving in the UK no longer need to take COVID-19 tests or complete a passenger locator form. If you’re travelling to another country, the Gov UK website has foreign travel advice and entry rules for every country here >> https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice
If you are planning to travel abroad and enjoy some summer sun, we’ve put together some helpful tips and pitfalls to avoid to make travelling in 2022 safer and smoother.
- Restrictions overseas are often different to those imposed back home now. Do your research and make sure you know what they are at your destination. Most of Europe has now lifted the need for Passenger Locator forms (PLF) and tests for those that are vaccinated and/or children. Whilst some will accept people that are unvaccinated with a test taken before travel, some still will not let you in if you have chosen not to have the vaccine. Make sure you know this information before you travel. Customers are expecting travel companies to refund them if they can’t travel on this basis, however, it is not the travel companies responsibility to reimburse you on this basis.
- Is your travel insurance sufficient for COVID cover? Some companies will not insure you if you are not vaccinated. Some won’t cover hospitalisation due to COVID whilst abroad. Make sure you do your research and pick a provider that will. Make sure you obtain insurance as soon as a holiday is booked. If anything happens in the interim you may end up losing your money if you can’t travel for any reason. Also, make sure you declare all medical conditions as these would not be covered if anything were to happen. The extra premiums are worth it to know you won’t be stuck with large medical bills so far from home.
- Don’t rely on your phone and the app for your COVID pass. So many people are holding up the queues at airports as they can’t access it online. It is valid for 1 month ahead of travel so access and download it ahead of travel. Printing a copy or saving a file on your phone is best when you need to access them.
- Take masks with you. Whilst these are not required in the UK anymore, some airlines still mandate these being worn on flights, and some countries still require them to be worn indoors. It’s worth taking the time to check the rules of your destination.
- Continue to follow the general advice for preventing the spread of Covid-19.
Some disruption remains a risk, as border closures, movement restrictions or quarantine rules can be introduced at short notice. However, this should not put you off travelling as the last few months have shown continuous improvement, but travellers should plan carefully and be prepared for changes to their itinerary.
The world and travel is returning to some sort of normality so be careful, be safe, but enjoy!