It’s getting warm and most of us would be looking forward to our summer breaks. However everything changed for most of us in March, when country after country started to lockdown due to Covid 19. An unprecedented event that has changed the way we think communicate and travel. The question on every trravellers mind – Coronavirus – When can I go on Holiday?
It was late December when I first heard about the pandemic and did not pay much attention to it, even though I had planned to visit China for the Easter Break. Yes, I was all booked and ready to go to China for 2 weeks in April followed by Italy in May. By mid-March more than half the world had been effected in some shape or form and we were in Lockdown. An experience that none of us would have even dreamt of.
As most countries shut their borders and airlines grounded all their flights it became apparent that there was no chance of any leisure travel in the near future.
Coronavirus has meant most people have had to abandon holiday plans for 2020, whether in the UK or abroad.
Starting from March most planed holidays were cancelled and we all started on this new journey of chasing our refunds and cancellations. I personally had a few bookings and luckily managed to get credit vouchers from British Airways and Vueling.
Most airlines offered Credit vouchers and although I was initially hesitant to take these there was not much choice. You could claim under your travel Insurance or Credit Cards if you booked on them but again each airline or holiday provider had their own ways of settling cancellations and claims.
As it stands all or most booked holidays from March to June stand cancelled.
Can I get a refund for my Flights or package holiday?
The Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) has advised that all of us have the right to a refund” for cancelled package holidays, but payments would take longer than the 14 statutory days.
If your flight is cancelled, you are also entitled to a full refund to your original form of payment, within seven days. This is the normal, however because of the sheer number of cancellations airlines have advised it could take up to 6 months to get a refund.
If you are offered a voucher, you can accept or refuse it but the only issue being if you accept vouchers and the airline folds these will become invalid.
I have had my fair share of negotiations and managed to get vouchers. I would love to hear your stories.
Should I book a summer holiday?
As it stands all foreign travel and holidays within the UK are banned – so I would not book anything just yet. Keep checking the Foreign office website for updates on where and when you can travel. Many providers are providing flexibility, additional protection and free cancellations on new bookings – But I would still not book anything yet.
There are the few reasons why I would not recommend booking your summer holiday.
Most Travel Insurers have applied some form of exclusion on Covid -19. If you travel against the UK Foreign Office travel advice – most likely your claim will be rejected. Most Insurers and airlines take their cue from the UK Foreign Office.
How safe would I feel on a flight?
Most airlines are trying to start passenger travel as soon as possible losing millions daily. But starting passenger travel comes with new challenges. How will they maintain social distance on flights? It can all look very safe and controlled at terminals, immigration and making it as safe as possible, but what about onboard?
If they go ahead with one seat in between being free, this would impact the cost for sure. Would you want to pay 3 times the price? Would you still be able to maintain the social distance? I would definitely not want to go on a holiday in full PPE on a flight.
Medical help on Holiday.
How comfortable are you about the quality of Medical help that you will receive abroad? This is one thing that definitely makes me think twice about my next foreign holiday. Please check whether your travel Insurance will cover you for hospitalisation due to Covid-19 before you make any travel plans abroad. There are a lot of exclusions that most Insurers are applying now.
Most countries including the U.K are looking to introduce some for of self quarantine for travellers. You could be looking at up to 14 days of quarentine when reaching your destination or returning to your home country. Would I want to use 4 weeks for a 7 day holiday?
As it stands people in England can drive any dance to other destinations in England. However Airbnb, campsites, hotels and holiday parks will remain shut until the beginning of July. So would you want to travel long distances and not be able to spend a few restful days there. Short day trips are the only way out as it stands.
Summer Holiday in the U.K? I can definitely see a spike and a lot of us would be holidaying in the U.K this year. The weather has been perfect and if it carries on like this, I can’t see any reason why we could not opt for staycation this summer.
Is it worth the Risk?
Even if we get through the long queues in immigration and pay exorbitant flight fares, will the atmosphere still be the same at most popular tourist destinations? I am sure this will not all change in the next few months. Most European cities have suffered the pandemic and will have restrictions or some aspects of normality missing when you visit in the next few months.
Keeping all this in mind I would not look to book anything for this summer just yet. I can’t wait to travel again and the sound of – Welcome on board.
Quite interesting as we were in the middle of deciding whether to book a summer holiday just yet
Dont think would be doing that in a hurry .
I would just hold on for a bit longer before booking just
Such an interesting post Amar. However much I crave to travel I know it is not safe at all. Hope things will get better and we all get to fulfill the destinations on our bucket list.
Thanks. It’s also daunting at the moment. Hope we can travel again soon
It’s going to be interesting to see how the summer holidays go? I’m still not sure whether to book just yet. Some interesting facts you have shared thanks.
I would not want to book just yet. Hope we can travel soon
I really can’t wait to plan a holiday. But this year, it doesn’t seem possible. It might be safer to travel or go on short day trips within the country. Thanks for the fact checks. I am also probably not planning any trip this year.
I guess a good way would be to travel in your own country this year.
Looking to travel in September and not sure still if we can make it. Hope we can. Some very handy tips. Thanks
Hope it gets better by then and you can enjoy your holiday.
This is quite interesting and some points you would have not thought of even. Self quarantine is going to be one big issue when thinking of planning holidays. Thanks for a great post
Self quarantine is going to be a big one when you plan and choose a destination going forward.
We all traveller souls are passing through this bad period. I can strongly relate with this article. You made many points to sound very logical. Even if travelling starts right now, things will not be so easy. I don’t think people will prefer journeys over life. At least, not the majority of travellers. Moreover different Governing bodies are also careful. Like you said, even if we start now, are we ready to pay more than usual? And we don’t know if different Governing bodies would be as friendly as they were in pre-covid period. I am from India.. and here condition is deteriorating day by day. I was travelling in Uttarakhand from past 6 months, but now I can’t do it so freely. As far as I know condition is getting better in Europe, and I hope you would be able to start your journey soon. Together we will come out from this bad situation. World will be open for all of us.
Thanks. Hopefully we can all travel soon
We wondering if we will be able to travel this summer band some of the pints you have clarified are really helpful. Hope all of this gets over soon.
I hope they were helpful and look forward to when all of us can travel again
The last few months have been crazy and not something I think any of us would have dreamed of experiencing. It has certainly put a damper on travel plans and has left many of us with the wanderlust building up. However, it is certainly important to be safe and protect the health of those around us. I’m glad that I choose to cancel my plans for the spring/summer months before investing to much into them, I have heard it is a pain to get refunds. I agree, I definitely would not recommend booking any travel at this time, until things calm down.
Truly agree with you that cancelled trips are tough to get refunds on. But it’s not worth taking that risk. Hope we can all holiday soon.