For some of us, staying put in the UK is just not an option. In August, my family and I travelled to Andalucía, Spain to visit my mother whom we’d not seen since the beginning of the year.
At that time, Spain wasn’t on the UK Government’s “Travel Corridor” list of countries to which we could travel. We were, therefore, travelling against FCDO (Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office) advice which meant we’d have to quarantine upon our return. We weighed it up and since we had no school or workplace commitments, we decided that
the benefits of going far outweighed the risks and the boredom of a 14-day quarantine.
It proved to be a wonderful and much-needed trip, albeit a different experience to what we were used to. Different but not unpleasant. We flew into Malaga from our local airport without any luggage to check in which kept the actual travelling time shorter, something we were grateful for since we had to wear masks for the whole duration. The airport itself was almost deserted, the plane was practically empty and upon arrival at Malaga, we were greeted with an eery tranquillity. As a passenger, it was all rather nice. But for the airlines and airports, it
wasn’t the ideal situation and made me rather glad that we could “do our bit” by sending custom their way.
Despite the fantastic news of a vaccine, until traveller confidence returns this scenario will likely remain for a while yet. So, what does the future hold for travel?
Well, I think our “new normal” will involve a lot more patience and flexibility. Whether you book in advance or last minute, be prepared that your trip may well get cancelled, postponed, or that the country you’re going to is removed from the UK Travel Corridor list. Governments around the world are constantly revising their advice as they try to adapt
and manage the situations in their own countries and this often involves last-minute decisions that may affect our plans. It’s frustrating and not very helpful to the industry or travellers but it is for our safety. I am sure it is something that will vastly improve in the future as we gain further knowledge, understanding, and methods of testing and tracking this pandemic – even better still a vaccine!
These enforced restrictions have only helped to make our travel dreams even bigger. Make the most of it - think boutique, luxury, really getting away from it all, and consider the positive local impact you’ll make for countries that are less fortunate than ours and which rely upon tourism for their economy. Be guided by travel experts who live and breathe this “new normal” every day and can guide you to the best and safest places to take a holiday. But mostly, do what you feel comfortable with even if, for now, that means staying in the UK.
We (the travel industry) need you to travel. The tourist or remote destinations you would visit need you too. I realised after my holiday to Spain that I needed to travel for my own good and you probably do too. Holidays may be very different from the ones we used to take. We’ll no longer take the chance to go on holiday for granted and we will be all the more rewarded for it.
Despite the changes and uncertainty, there are still many rewards to be gained from travelling at this time. The secret lies in taking a flexible approach. Would a last-minute imposed quarantine be disastrous for you or your employer, or can it be accommodated? Be prepared that you may need to stay longer in a country if flight schedules are amended –
unlikely, but still a possibility.
Be sure to buy travel insurance. COVID-19 cover is now available, including when travelling against FCDO advice. In the event that you need to make changes, rely on the continued flexibility of airlines, hotels, and us travel suppliers. We all want to give you peace of mind when it comes to your trip. 360 Private Travel is therefore offering refundable deposits where we can, subject to flight and accommodation supplier payment terms. We have been successful in postponing or cancelling trips for our clients without penalty, helped by the strength of our supplier relationships.
Click here for the latest list of Travel Corridor destinations. Remember that this list can change with little notice. Some countries also have entry requirements and health screening to which you must adhere. Please also note that the Government are actively trying to reduce the 14 day quarantine from non Travel Corridor destinations too.
Don’t be afraid to dream and plan your next holiday. Change is coming in 2021 and it won’t be long before we’ll be able to explore the world more freely again. For now, some trips will be cheaper but they also may carry more risk so choose me, your trusty travel advisor to guide you. I will be there for you when you need me and help you plan with care.