Before you go
After so long in lockdown, many of us will be keen for a well-deserved break. But holidays will now feel very different, so here’s a flavour of what you might expect.
Are you planning to staycation, holiday at home or travel abroad? Whether you are visiting Margate or Magaluf, we’ve talked to our Pledge Partners about some of the changes designed to protect your health on holiday.
KNOW IT’S SAFE TO GO BEFORE YOU BOOK:
We’ve always recommended that you visit the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website and read the Travel Advice for your destination. Their information includes details of current entry requirements plus any local coronavirus measures that you will need to follow. It also spells out the social isolation/quarantine measures (if any) that would be enforced on your return to the UK. TOP TIP: Make sure you sign up for email alerts so that you continue to receive updates in the countdown to your trip and while you are travelling. Now, more than ever, it is important to keep up to date, even if it is a location you know well.
Some countries are considered less of a risk. But while there is no quarantine on your return to the UK, many of these countries have strict conditions of entry. The guidance is different depending on whether you live in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
PASSPORT CONTROL BEFORE YOU GO:
You might be keen to get away, but before you book, check the expiry date on your passport and make sure you have enough time to renew.
The current Government advice is it is taking longer than usual to process applications because of coronavirus (COVID-19). Their advice: Do not apply unless you’re travelling before September 2020 or you need a passport urgently for compassionate reasons.
You usually need at least six months validity on your passport, and some destinations require more. You can check the FCO travel advice for the country you are travelling to for more information.
BOOKING YOUR TRIP ABROAD:
The way we book our holidays has changed.
If you’re visiting a travel agent, you’ll need to make an appointment first. Your consultation might be done via a video call. Or if you can visit their premises in person, you’ll be required to wear a face mask throughout the consultation.
They will almost certainly talk to you about appropriate insurance cover for your holiday. Make sure you are getting the right insurance for all your needs – not just whether or not there is Covid-19 cancellation cover.
If you’re booking with a travel brand direct, you might have to confirm that you have appropriate holiday insurance in place.
PEACE OF MIND:
You need a travel insurance policy to cover all the activities you want to do. And make sure it is in place as soon as you have booked your holiday, in case of cancellation.
SAVE A LIFE:
Every year on holiday, someone will fall to their death, usually from a balcony. Their friends and loved ones will never know what happened. Packing a door wedge or a bungee cord to secure the balcony door handles could make a vital difference to sleepwalkers, or someone confused about where the bathroom might be.
You will probably have to wear a mask as soon as you enter the airport or ferry terminal, and your check-in will probably be done via self serve kiosks. There may be hand luggage restrictions (but leave enough room for spare masks, hand sanitiser and multi-surface wipes).
Once onboard, you may find there are changes to the services available – no inflight magazine or duty-free and a restricted catering service. Check before you go.
SUN, SEA AND SAFETY:
Different countries, different rules. But from face masks to social distancing, to crowd control and timed entries at museums and galleries, the measures are designed to keep you and employees and local residents safe.
Your resort might offer a self-operated check-in, limited entertainment and timed restaurant reservations instead of a buffet menu option. It might also be necessary to wear a face mask while moving around the resort, and sunbed stations will be spaced to observe social distancing measures.
The travel industry has worked hard to ensure your safety when travelling and on holiday. Have a great break. You deserve it.