The world of travel is a rapidly changing industry at present. Whether countries are changing from amber to green, their local restrictions are changing, or something unrelated to Covid is happening, international travel during Covid is much more demanding in terms of adapting. Though this is a big change, it also encourages consumers to stay up to date, and those in the industry to provide even more support to their consumers so that if anything does change, both parties are prepared for it.
In this vein, knowing all the ways to stay prepared for international travel during Covid goes a long way, whether it’s now (September 6th, 2021) or in the future with further changes or more open travel. Building these good habits will already make booking a holiday a more enjoyable experience and will allow you to take a break with complete peace of mind knowing that you and your travel business are prepared for any changes to come.
If you’re not sure where to start with preparing for international travel during Covid, and you want to learn more about ways to make the most of travel protection during Covid, here are some tips on where to start and how to prepare for some relaxing holidays ahead.
1. Keep Up To Date On Government Guidelines
Whatever kind of holiday you’re booking, and whenever you’re booking it for, keeping up to date on the UK government guidelines is vital. This will let you know what destinations are recommended, which ones are restricted and why, the protocols for returning home from destinations, and what destinations may become unavailable under specific types of protection.
The government guidelines will let you know what countries are on the green, amber, and red lists and what the restrictions for those lists are at the time of travel. If you want to learn more about the specific restrictions as of September 6th, you can check out our blog on the traffic light system and amber list travel for vaccinated travellers.
This also brings your attention to the destinations that might be moving lists. On the government website you can find all the information you need on what countries are on what lists and if they might move soon. Keeping up to date with your travel agent will also ensure that you have all the correct information as your travel business will always ensure they know the restrictions for the destinations they’re selling.
2. Keep Up To Date On The Destination’s Restrictions
Similar to keeping on track with the UK Government’s advice for travel, keeping updated on the restrictions and rules in your destination is equally important. Though this is one that can be easily missed by consumers, making sure your destination will allow you to travel there and finding out if their restrictions include preparations that you need to make before travel is vital for your holiday. You don’t want to find yourself turning up for your holiday only to have to quarantine for most of it.
In this vein, a trusted PTS travel agent will be happy to help guide you in keeping up to date on this information. In the travel industry, and in PTS, we’re trying to keep as up to date as we can in order to help our consumers have the smoothest booking process possible so don’t be afraid to ask for confirmation on destination information.
The best places to find the restrictions information for your destination will either be on the foreign travel advice page or on the destination’s tourism board. We recommend checking up on this regularly from before you book, so that you can be prepared for any changes. You can also keep an eye on places like Travel Weekly where some of the bigger updates may be announced.
3. Book a Package Holiday
This is a simple, but very effective, tip. Booking a package holiday is always a method we recommend, but especially in these changing times for travel, booking a package holiday will ensure you have secure and thorough financial and legal protection when you book travel during covid.
There isn’t much to do to ensure this, simply ensure when you’re booking that your holiday is a package. This means the holiday will include more than one element (flights, transport, accommodation, activities, etc.) under one price. The travel business will also be under obligation to inform you that you are booking a package and provide the necessary information from the Package Travel Regulations, so don’t hesitate to ask if you’re uncertain.
4. Look for Flexible Booking Terms
When you’re looking for a travel agent or tour operator to book travel with during covid, checking out their policies to see how flexible their bookings are can give you a lot of peace of mind.
Some travel businesses will now have extra terms that provide more flexible cancellations, refunds, or rebookings if your holiday is disrupted by an unexpected change like a green list destination moving to amber. They might also work with certain testing companies that mean you can book your PCR tests for a better price within the booking itself.
If you’re booking with a Protected Trust Services (PTS) member, our secure and trusted trust account system means that a lot of our members have the confidence to provide more flexible bookings to their consumers, so don’t forget to look for that PTS logo when you’re looking to book your next holiday.
5. Buy Good Travel Insurance
Package Travel Regulations protection isn’t the only kind of protection that can help you with travel during covid. Finding excellent travel insurance can go a long way to providing some great financial protection even before your holiday begins.
You can check out our blog on how to find good travel insurance for more information, but we highly recommend you give just a little bit of time when you book to finding travel insurance that is right for you and your holiday. This includes some travel insurance plans which include Covid cover.
From covering cancellations due to a destination falling from the green list to covering medical costs or quarantine costs if something happens abroad, good travel insurance during covid is important and will allow you to travel with confidence that should anything happen, your holiday won’t fall apart for it.
When you do have travel insurance on holiday, we also recommend you take some time to prepare and ensure you have all the documents or contact information you need in the case that something does happen. Even if you need to contact someone with a question, having this information while you’re on holiday will be really useful.
6. Book with A PTS Member
You may think we’re a little biased but booking travel during covid with a trusted Protected Trust Services (PTS) member will provide a lot of important protection for your holiday. From expert travel agents that we trust who will be there for any travel concerns from the moment you book, to our independent trust account solution, the protection of a PTS member is crucial during covid.
Because of our secure trust account system, your monies are always protected no matter what. From the moment you book to the moment you arrive home, your money is safe, so if anything happens and you are entitled to a refund or reimbursement, it can be processed swiftly and efficiently, so your holiday can still run as smoothly as possible.
At PTS, we also reconcile daily, so if you need to know where your money is at any point and for any reason, all you need to do is get in contact and we can tell you exactly where it is.
To check that your travel business is a PTS member, there are a couple of things you can do:
- Look for the PTS logo and unique PTS business number on the company’s website
- Contact PTS directly at 0207 190 9988 to check that they are a PTS member.
Our final piece of advice is to simply enjoy your holiday. As long as you’re prepared and protected, you can enjoy your holiday as much as you did before Covid, so don’t worry, stay prepared, and make sure you book with a wonderful PTS member for complete peace of mind, you’ve deserved it.