The reality is that the COVID-19 Pandemic will have long-lasting changes in the way that we book holidays and international travel. There are greater requirements on those travelling than ever before to do your due diligence and stay abreast of changes when booking, at departure and through the duration of your trip. Here are 5 things to consider before you book:
1. Pay with a Credit Card
When booking your holiday, paying with your Credit Card will give you greater protections than cash or Debit Card payments under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act. Broadly, this cover is intended to help you get your money back if you pay for something that you don’t receive. Your bank or Credit Card issuer can give you more information on the practicalities of this and how to claim should you need to, but you may find the additional protection to be beneficial.
2. Regularly check the FCDO website for your destination
Before you book, once you’ve booked and again before you depart. If the Foreign Commonwealth Development Office (FCDO) are advising you not to travel to your destination, and you decide to travel anyway, your Travel Insurance policy will likely be void, even if you suffer a non-COVID related loss.
3. Shop for your holiday on more than just price
We’ve all done it – searched a destination, selected the minimum standard of accommodation we’d like, filtered by price and then chosen a holiday we’re happy with. However, due to the cover available in the Travel Insurance markets and the lingering Covid-19 Pandemic, it’s more important than ever that you book your holiday with a provider who offers favourable terms for cancellation or rebooking of your holiday.
You may find that to get this cover you might need to pay a little more, but if the travel provider guarantees they’ll rebook you, this could save you money versus a provider who won’t refund you or let you rebook should the worst happen.
4. Check your destinations Entry Requirements, and the requirements to depart and return to the UK
Previously, many of us didn’t think beyond needing your passport and your luggage and off we went on holiday. Unfortunately, many countries will now be placing greater requirements on holidaymakers than ever before. This could be as simple as needing a new type of Visa, completing Passenger Locator Forms, bringing evidence of a Negative Covid-19 test, etc – these will become just as important as bringing your Passport. Remember to check the FCDO website page as it will tell you the Entry Requirements to your destination, including everything from how long your passport must be valid for to any new documentation that might be required. Check it regularly in case those requirements change, so you can stay ahead of the curve.
5. Check what’s going on locally in your chosen destination
It’s important that you check how your chosen destination are handling the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic, so you can make an informed decision before you book. Are bars and restaurants closed? Do they have limited opening hours? Are museums or attractions open? Is there a curfew? Is there a mask-mandate in place? These are all questions that you’ll want to consider, as no Travel Insurance policy will cover you not enjoying your holiday due to attractions or facilities being closed, or the local government requiring you to act in a certain way, so you need to make sure you’ve picked the right destination for what you want out of a holiday.
For more information and advice, check out our Travel Advice on our COVID-19 pages.
Information accurate as of 20th May 2021. Travel restrictions and requirements are frequently changing, for up-to-date advice on what to do before travelling, call the team 0208 891 4013.