Is It Safe To Book My Holidays In 2021? The Do's & Don'ts Of Travel This Year
The Summer sales for holidays in 2021 are already underway with discounts flying in more often than flights at Heathrow. However most of you, rightfully so, are still feeling some trepidation in regards to booking in fear of 2021 suffering the same dismal fate as 2020 in regards to travel.
That's why we've put together a shortlist to help insure you against the potential pitfalls of travel in 2021, so you can book with confidence and enjoy your vacation. If you follow these steps, you'll be buffered against the changing travel recommendations that the government hand out on a whim, and the rigmarole that can come with quarantines or chasing refunds.
Book Packages Not Flights & Hotels Separately
The first piece advice is a pretty straight forward one. Booking packages reduces not only the number of things that can go wrong, but the number of avenues you'll have to correspond with in the event there is a hiccough along the way. Package holidays can protect you for some things that even travel insurance doesn't always include.
In order to gauge how well a company has handled recent issues in regards to package holidays, take a browse through their social media and take note of comments and replies from customers. 1 customer complaining does not mean a company is not to be trusted, but where there seems to be a theme running you can be sure to take note as a potential problem and avoid them when booking.
Pay With Your Credit Card
Not only are there better legal protections with credit cards than debit or cash transfers, but credit card companies can often provide refunds directly to you, as opposed to chasing up a refund through the company you sent a payment to. This could potentially save you a lot of time and headaches.
Look For Flexibility
In 2021 flexibility is king, not cost.
Of course we all want to pay less for our holidays but paying a little more for flexibility is a great way to avoid getting stung. Some companies offer last minute cancellations for no fee, but that doesn't necessarily extend to every single package they offer.
If you're not absolutely certain of the flexibility of an offer, how late you can cancel or change dates, how easily you can switch one package to another, then get in touch to confirm with the company concerned in writing.
Book With A Trusted/Protected Company
In the absolute worst case scenario, the company you book with goes bust. That doesn't mean you need to be left high and dry without a refund. In the even a tour operator closes its doors you can still redeem your payment if they are Atol protected and pay into the insurance fund run by the Civil Aviation Authority.
Almost all of the your operators you'd recognise in the UK are Atol protected, but be sure to check before booking. That's also another reason to book packages as no such scheme is in place to protect you should you book your flights and hotel separately.
Invest In Travel Insurance
With Brexit there have been changes that will effect UK residents in regards to healthcare abroad. UK citizens will no longer be entitled to free medical treatment in the EU with the Ehic scheme. That means now more than ever you'll need medical cover and travel insurance.
It's important to take out travel insurance as soon as possible post booking, as you will be covered or any illness or accident prior to travel that could affect your planned holiday. Ensure the policy includes cover for Covid19 related incidents, such as flight cancellations or self isolation periods.
As of yet no policies cover the FCO advice and travel corridors constant changing, but this shouldn't be an issue if you book a package holiday as aforementioned.