Is It Safe To Book A Holiday In 2021? Dos and Don'ts

  • 2nd Feb'21
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The year 2020 was clearly not a year for traveling or holidays. Well, of course, every day was a holiday but at home. Due to COVID-19, everyone all over the globe was restricted within the four walls of their home. People who had plans of spending their holidays outside their hometown were disappointed. But the roll-out of the vaccine has seen a surge of optimism that travel will be possible again this year but it doesn’t yet offer any guarantees. Most of us still don’t know when we will get a vaccine, whether it is still possible to transmit the coronavirus even after being vaccinated, or whether individual countries will allow us to travel. In short, it’s still very uncertain when and if holidays in 2021 can go ahead.

Is it safe to book a holiday in 2021? Dos and Don'ts

The government is still of the opinion to avoid traveling as much as possible. Thousands of holidaymakers are still fighting to get refunds from tour operators and airlines for trips canceled last year. Many more are finding that their airline won’t refund them for flights that they have booked before the advent of coronavirus. However, there are several ways to safely book a holiday in 2021 that protect from almost any disruption, including the government’s ever-changing travel restrictions. To know about what do travel experts suggest, Click here


 Here are some of the dos that can be used for safe traveling:

 

1. Instead of booking flights and hotels separately book a holiday package 

Booking a holiday package rather than booking flights and hotels separately increases the chances of a refund. This will protect your money if the company fails - and it has become necessary. If your airline fails or your hotel closes, you may as well lose your money – or worse, you could be left abroad.

 

2. Reserve a package holiday to protect against changing air bridge lists and national lockdowns  

Many holidaymakers who booked flights and hotels separately had left them out of pocket due to the government changes to the countries on its air bridge list. Even though the government has now withdrawn all countries from the list and suggested against Travels and airlines continuing to fly and denied to refund customers. Again, a package holiday can stop you from losing out.  When a national lockdown occurs, or travel advice against a country changes, most tour operators, unlike some airlines, will cancel package holidays. You’ll be offered a trip to an alternative destination or can claim a full refund.

Is it safe to book a holiday in 2021? Dos and Don'ts

3. Choose a seller who will offer a refund.

More holidays later in 2021 are likely to be canceled. If yours is canceled, you want to make sure that you’ll get your refund havoc free. Many travel companies, including some of the renounced brands, have taken months to refund customers for holidays that were canceled due to COVID-19.  Only some of the firms did the right thing throughout the crisis and paid refunds within 14 days. Choose them to book your holiday.

 

4. Use a local travel agent to book 

Considering the present scenario, many customers have struggled to contact travel companies who have failed to keep them informed of changes to their bookings, cancellations, or the progress of their refunds –  some of them have even switched their phone off to avoid dealing with the customers. If you book with a local travel agent you won't have to deal with such situations. A good and local travel agent will be helping you to amend your booking if further travel restrictions are put in place, or if things go wrong in your absence. You’ll know someone is at the other end of the phone to help if you have queries or, if your trip is canceled, fight for your refund. To know about some of the great places to visit this year, Click here

 

5. Choose a flexible package

The best deals are those that allow you to cancel or make changes to your holiday right up to the date of departure as problems such as the air bridge, may occur at the last moment. That sort of flexibility only seems to be available with luxury operators, but there are some other useful policies to pick up on. 

 

6. Some hotels offer free cancellations, choose them. 

Look for hotels that offer free last-minute cancellation, if you are booking a separate hotel.

 

7. Immediately buy travel insurance as you make your booking

Travel insurance that covers you for COVID-19 related sickness and disruption is now available, although there are no complete thorough policies.  It’s essential to immediately buy insurance as soon as you book your holiday, rather than when you travel, as you’ll be covered if sickness or disruption happens before you travel. Look for policies that include cover for coronavirus-related disruption, such as canceled and delayed flights or the need to self-isolate for a period. 


 

Here are some of the Don’ts that can be used for safe traveling:

  

1. Avoid paying deposits

You might be anxious about traveling if coronavirus cases rise later on or looking for a holiday is no longer in your budget if you’ve lost your job or had demotion. Moreover, chances are that you may not have been vaccinated by the time. But even if you have been, it’s too early to know if the vaccine stops you from transmitting the virus to others, so there is a possibility country with slower vaccine rollouts may not allow us to travel there. Book with a travel company that offers zero or low deposits and you’ll reduce your loss if you decide to cancel before the balance is due. Check the operator’s terms and conditions to make sure that you don’t have to pay an added fee if you make a cancellation. Look for a company that will allow you to pay the balance as late as possible, in case things change, in order to minimize the risk. 

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2. Do not arrange a booking with an online travel agent

Many online travel agents have proven during the pandemic that they aren’t able to offer good customer service or the same level of protection as traditional tour operators. Customers had struggled to get hold of them to arrange refunds for canceled holidays and they haven’t been kept informed of changes to their bookings. To know more about booking guidelines, Click here

 

As it has been rightly said precaution is always better than cure. So, the above-mentioned precautions will help you enjoy your holiday without any disruption. 

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Sources/References:

*Note: The content published above was made in collaboration with our members.

About the author:

Divya Swaraj, OpenGrowth Content Team

A young energetic person, dedicated to the cause of my work.


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