Since the pandemic, the ability to plan anything is near impossible, yet we all still need to be able to get on with our lives in the most enjoyable way possible. When it comes to planning a holiday post-COVID there are lots of elements that come into play. While some people would rather wait till this is all over – which is likely to be longer than we would like to think, others are keen to escape the mundane, get a change of scenery and remember why we travel. Below are our top tips for booking a holiday post COVID for those of you that want to travel…
1. Decide what countries you can visit
Travel is now less about where you want to go and more about where it’s possible for you to go. This might be one of the most difficult parts of planning a holiday. Once you have a shortlist of countries check the government travel advice for entry into these countries and check if they are on the red list or not to see if your chosen destination is feasible.
2. Check the rules of entry
IF and it’s a big if, you can find a destination that doesn’t need you to take a COVID test of any kind when you arrive, and you are double jabbed, then theoretically you vastly limit your chances of COVID interrupting your travel plans. Currently, to enter Cyprus, Greece, Norway, Switzerland and Tenerife don’t need you to do a test if you are double jabbed – this information changes frequently so double-check this statement is correct before booking or planning further!
3. Book flexible
Book with a travel agency so your booking is flexible – or if you are booking online make sure your holiday can be changed if you cannot travel due to COVID. Don’t rely on travel insurance for this – but do also make sure your travel insurance covers you for this (read the terms and conditions carefully!) To be very safe, book a holiday to a destination that doesn’t require a COVID test then book your holiday 3 days before travelling to eliminate the risk of something happening before you travel. If your destination does need a negative test on arrival take the test (it’s usually 72 hours before travelling but different destinations have different requirements so check this first) then take the test and when you have a negative result book your holiday to depart in the remaining 72 hours. Yes, this is last minute but guarantees you’ll get there without difficulties!
4. Jump through all the new hoops
Complete your outward passenger locator form for the destination you are travelling to. This is now a requirement for all destinations. It’s usually a simple form that you need to complete a day or two before travelling that can be found on the government travel website. You’ll also need to book a ‘2 day test’ for when you return to the UK. This COVID test can be done at home but needs to be a government recognised one that you pay for. You can find a provider here.
5. Take a mask for the plane and airport
This will be enforced on the plane. The UK airports don’t seem to be so strict but you should still wear one according to their policies. Foreign destinations are stricter – stick to the rules in other countries as you don’t want to get into trouble on your holiday. Don’t forget we have a lot more freedom here than in many other destinations.
6. Enjoy yourself!
Woo-hoo you made it – make the most of your holiday and remember why we travel; relax, explore, eat different cuisine, get some sun, post your epic holiday pics on Facebook and make all your friends jealous.
7. Before you return to the UK
You’ll need to complete a passenger locator form for the UK. There’s a lot more detail on here and you will be asked for the reference number of the COVID test we told you to book in point number 4. You can get a home COVID test kit from Randox that will be waiting for you at home when you arrive for £43.
8. 2 Days after you are home from your holiday
Do the mandatory COVID test either in a clinic or at home and post it off. There are more hoops to jump through if you travelled to a country on the red list but we are presuming you didn’t choose to visit a red list country.
Ready for some excitement in your life?
This is in no way advice, ultimately you are responsible for assessing your own health and safety needs. We are just trying to help you be able to plan better in these changeable times. If you are slowly going crazy working from home and in dire need of a holiday, speak to one of our travel experts today and get some excitement back in your life.