When it comes to booking your next holiday, staying well informed is one of the most important things for your peace of mind throughout the process. Not only this, but now is when you need a travel agent more than ever. Whether it’s keeping track of payments and scheduled dates, being aware of the type of holiday you’re booking and how you’re protected, or, as we will discuss here, keeping up to date on destination Covid policies.
It may seem like a lot, but travel can still be joyful, and especially with an expert, you can still enjoy you holiday now, rather than waiting.
As of 28th of June 2021, travel is expanding at a positive pace. The green watch list has become more prevalent, everyone is generally clearer on the path forward, and destinations are communicating well, looking to the future. Things may still seem daunting despite this, of course they are, but as the world is changing, travel businesses are changing in parallel to it so you don’t have to miss out.
In saying this, staying informed is still just as important. The world, and travel specifically, is always changing, so keeping an eye on what’s going on, where we can go, the covid rates in each country, etc. Is still something we encourage for all travel consumers.
Why Is It Important to Keep Up with Destination COVID Policies?
Keeping track of what restrictions and rules destinations are putting in place is going to make bookings more efficient, give good time to prepare for both you and your travel agent, and give peace of mind, so that you know you’re ready for what your destination requires.
By keeping an eye on how the world is changing, you can make a well-informed decision on where you’d like to travel, when you’d like to travel there, and how best to book, whether that’s the time scale you book for, the resort you book into, or just which packages will include extra nights at a designated resort for quarantine.
For example, of late June 2021, countries such as Malta and Portugal have specified that UK travellers are welcome as long as they are either fully vaccinated (have had both vaccines) or isolate for 14 days in one of their designated resorts.
So, if you’re looking into booking a holiday to Malta, Portugal, or another destination with similar policies, and you haven’t been double vaccinated, or you’re taking children with you, then that’s something you’ll need to discuss with your travel agent.
The further progress on the green watchlist is something to keep a close eye on as well. Some may not be comfortable treating the green watchlist differently to amber. While a country on the green list is more flexible, and you will be given fair warning before they possibly become amber, on the green watchlist, those destinations could change at any time. So, it’s important to keep an eye on any destination on the watchlist.
However, there is discussion in the UK government over letting anyone with both vaccinations travel to amber destinations without quarantine upon their return to the UK, and though this is not confirmed, looking out for future news on that could open up even more destinations to you.
Other things to look out for could be whether a country moves to the green watchlist, their testing policies, their public restrictions (such as masks and social distancing) and if any local activities are restricted.
Something many are taking in their stride as the situation evolves, is that this may well go on for a while, but that is not any reason to miss out on your holiday.
Though we are adopting new precautions to ensure peace of mind when we travel, being prepared is always a great habit to make. Being prepared in a new way through Covid shouldn’t stop you getting the holiday you deserve. As long as you are aware and booking with a trusted travel agent and PTS member, travel is not something you need to be missing out on, just something to ensure flexibility for.
How Do I Check Destination Policies?
You can do this in a few simple ways, though it may seem like a complicated task, all this information is easy to find and access readily and updated live.
- Talk to your travel agent – we’ve said this already, but now is a more important time than ever to book with a travel agent. This is because they are an expert. They will always be up to date on what’s going on and keeping track so that they can provide the least complicated holiday they can. So don’t be shy to get in contact, from the moment you book to the moment you arrive home, they are there for whatever travel concerns you have, and they are just a phone call away. We recommend that you also investigate this information yourself, but any information you need, they can provide.
- Check the government website – the UK government provide live updates on all destinations around the world on their travel advice page. If you’re thinking of a destination you want to travel to, all you need to do is find the country on the travel advice list, and it will give you a rundown of their current covid policies.
- Check destination tourism boards – we recommend always keeping track of destination restrictions and policies through the government website first. However, if you want to know restrictions in more specific locations, restrictions of specific activities, or social distancing rules, many destinations will specify on their tourism board.
Why Is It Important to Book with a Travel Agent Now?
All of this may seem like a lot more on your plate when it comes to booking a holiday. But if you are booking with a travel agent, it’s all manageable.
Not only is it invaluable having a travel expert with you through the whole process, but a good travel agent will go above and beyond to make sure that you can travel with peace of mind.
From ensuring you are prepared, to having policies in place in case destination covid policies should change, booking with a travel agent and PTS member means that you can rest assured that your holiday is going to be spectacular.
Many travel agents are adapting with you, so that while you are settling into a new pattern of holiday-making, they are selling holidays to you that allow you to relax as much as ever. Something that has changed in this regard, is travel companies now allowing you to amend, sometimes free of charge, to your booking if your destination’s position should change, whether it is no longer on our green list, or we are no longer on theirs. This means you don’t have to miss your holiday; you can simply move it.
Above all else, no matter what is changing in the world of travel, we always highly recommend booking a package holiday with a trusted travel agent. They know what they’re talking about, and they will provide the best protection for your holiday, so you can rest assured you’re going to have a worry-free time.
So, if you are looking to book a fabulous holiday, please get in contact with one of our lovely members, you can recognise them by the PTS logo and number on their website. Or, if you’d like a recommendation for which of our members to pick for your holiday, you can call PTS head office at 0207 190 9988.
And if you’d like to learn more about how you are protected as a consumer, or the package travel regulations, visit our pages.