5 Tips for Family Travel in 2021 and the Foreseeable Future

We all look forward to holidays and vacations. With summer underway and the school holidays just around the corner, now is the time for planning a family trip. But 2019’s global outbreak has dramatically affected most of the world’s vital travel infrastructure. Restrictions across most nations mean that international travel is a risky endeavour. At the same time, family day trips and local holidays are currently subject to uncertain conditions and booking issues.

Restrictions in the UK are set to lift on July 19, yet this only applies to travel inside the nation. Further, the list of acceptable and unacceptable countries is subject to change at any time. However, with all the uncertainty, you can make provisions to combat the almost guaranteed disappointment. Most operators now include Covid insurance, and cancellations or date amendments are being offered as standard. High demand also means many places might be fully booked.

Covid-19 and International Travel

At the moment, it isn’t advisable to book an international trip. Still, if you must, then you should do all you can to insulate yourself against disappointment. Most nations have extremely rigid travel restrictions in place to combat the spread of Covid-19. The Delta Variant of the virus is currently sweeping across the world. It appears to have sucker-punched most countries just as they thought they were making progress.

Because of this, the UK’s travel green list is subject to change. Therefore, countries currently designated as safe will be moved to the amber list, thus defining them unsafe. Consequently, travel from an amber or red list nation means you will have to quarantine depending on your vaccination status. So unlike your optional flu vaccine, a Covid vaccine is essential. There aren’t many green list countries, but they consist mainly of popular holiday destinations like Bermuda, the Balearic Islands and Malta.

Insurance and Cancellations

Should you decide upon an international vacation, you need to be aware of your current travel rights. Because of the Covid-19 virus, many holiday booking services offer free cancellations and date amendments as part of the initial booking service. In addition, while these were usually optional services that cost extra, many operators currently waive the fee. However, you should be aware that not all holiday operators offer this service since it is optional for the booking company.

Additionally, some holiday booking companies offer insurance against Covid-19-related issues that can arise while on holiday. This includes medical fees and repatriation but might extend to travel-related problems. Travel issues include your host nation being removed from the green list. Should this occur, you could find yourself stranded or subject to alternative travel arrangements, as was the case with Portugal earlier in the year.

Consider a Staycation this Year

International travel is very uncertain at the moment. To avoid disappointment and almost guarantee a good time, you could consider a staycation this year. If you aren’t aware, a staycation is a holiday in your local region or another part of your home country. No matter where you live, your country will have something to offer. There will be beaches you have never visited, sights you are yet to see, and natural wonders you might be keen to discover.

Current travel concerns will be mostly alleviated should you choose a staycation. Booking a staycation might be tedious, though. Because of international travel restrictions, many local vacation spots might be fully booked. And although the UK’s lockdown restrictions are set to ease on July 19, venue owners can still enforce social distancing measures. For example, restaurants may still ask you to wear a mask as you move around the establishment. 

Plan Fun Day Trips Well in Advance

Like popular national holiday spots, attractions and amenities may also be fully booked or subject to admission control. For example, the famous theme park Alton Towers is currently operating at a significantly reduced capacity. Other establishments may also be under similar restrictions. Additionally, most attractions such as this offer a discount if you book them in advance.

When planning a day trip, you should also check parking provisions. While many attractions offer free parking, just as many do not. And usually, when they don’t, parking is expensive. Blackpool Pleasure Beach, for example, charges £10 for a parking space. Fortunately, when you book online or over the phone, you can usually add parking to your booking arrangements, so you don’t need to worry when you get there. 

Expect the Unexpected

As the last 18 months has taught us all, it is best to expect the unexpected. Unfortunately, the highly unpredictable nature of the pandemic means even the best-laid plans can go awry. Although the British government is expected to lift restrictions on July 19, there is fierce opposition to these plans – especially from the Labour Party. Because of this, you shouldn’t fully expect this to go ahead, although it looks like it will.

If UK lockdown procedures are lifted, international travel is still a concern. Every country all over the world currently operates under unique and specific restrictions. Some are welcoming of everyone, while others require proof of vaccination. Additionally, your host destination could be struck from the list of allowed countries. Contingency plans should be made if this happens to you – although it is best to avoid international travel for now.

To Summarise

The global pandemic has severely impacted the travel abilities of almost every nation on Earth. While some are welcoming, others are not. And the countries that allow travel to and from the UK could be removed from the UK’s green list. This happened with visitors to Portugal a couple of months ago. In response to the unpredictable nature of travel, many booking companies are offering free cancellations and booking amendments, but not all.

There is also a significant risk of contracting Covid-19 while on holiday, so you should ensure that you take advantage of any insurance opportunities. If you don’t, then you will have to pay medical fees and transfer fees back home. These will cost a large sum of money. Not all companies offer insurance, and you might have to source it separately from your initial booking.

Travel disappointment can be avoided by staying at home this summer and taking advantage of all that your home country has to offer. Sights, attractions and heritage sites are among some of the best things to do. However, travel to these places might also be restricted, so it is best to book in advance when planning a day trip or staycation.

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