With that feeling of clipped wings, travel is at the forefront of many minds. We are all desperate to return to normality, to book our next getaway stress-free and to feel the sand between our toes on far off shores once again. If we look back a year or two, the thought of booking our next holiday, battling through the airport, boarding our plane and landing in distant lands ready for adventure, filled us with excitement and wonder. Fast forward to today and it fills many with dread and disappointment. But will we ever enjoy jet-set lifestyles again? Is there light at the end of the tunnel for travellers?
There is little doubt that travel during these unprecedented times comes with huge obstacles and uncertainty. From government restrictions and quarantines, to social distancing and remaining safe. It’s very easy to concentrate on the negative stories, to throw the towel in on plans and forget about our travel dreams and jet set lifestyles.
At the start of lockdown, the media was amass with stories of cancelled holidays, unobtainable refunds and horrendous travel nightmares. For some the battles and headaches continue, but with much negative press and the chance for companies to get a grip with the world as we know it, many are now responding in the correct manner by putting measures in place to protect travellers and enable us to get away once again.
Airports and airlines have been quick to react to encourage passengers to fly with confidence. From enhanced disinfection of aircraft, reduced onboard service to limit social interaction between passengers and crew, compulsory facemasks and free fully flexible booking options. Studies have shown that air travel is relatively low risk, with hospital grade air filtration systems fitted on aircraft and the fact that all seats face in one direction. Passenger feedback has been largely positive, with many happy that they booked a jet set getaway after-all feeling safe and satisfied within the airport and aircraft environment.
Hotels and rentals have also been quick off the mark, with enhanced cleaning procedures, and flexible booking options, taking the stress away from any cancelled trips. The breakfast buffet is largely off the menu these days, but most hotels are putting measures in place to still offer a pleasurable experience to their guests.
The biggest obstacle comes in the form of local government restrictions on travellers. The states has recently dropped the 14 day quarantine for travellers entering its gateway cities, but with extremely high infection rates it’s likely to remain an unattractive option for holiday makers. Destinations closer to home such as Greece and Spain are encouraging passengers with open arms, yet face various restrictions for those returning to the UK.
The government seems to be tentatively listening to expert feedback, with sensible new implementations of more localised travel bans. This means that the widely criticised roulette during each Thursday update to the Travel Corridor List seems a little more manageable and forgiving for travellers wanting to book. In addition Air lines are banding together in force to encourage the UK government to implement testing on arrival, as adopted by many other countries, therefore eliminating the crippling need to quarantine. It seems that slowly, the government is taking a more formative approach to how it’s reacting towards international travel.
In addition it cannot be missed that there are some enticing deals out there reaching well into the next year, with the aim to boost sales and stimulate bookings. Many of these offer extra perks alongside bargain bucket prices, like free hotel upgrades, complimentary meals and airport lounge access, enabling travellers to enhance their overall experience and enjoy benefits that were previously off the budget. Ski resorts and beaches offer fresh air and the opportunity to socially distance. Cities once hectic and bustling are now quiet and calm and the countryside remains, as always, a viable option for safety and serenity.
Us Brits are lucky to be surrounded by so many beautiful and easily accessible countries that have gone to great lengths to keep foreign tourists safe. If you’re 100% sure, keep an eye on each countries restrictions, book wisely with flexibility, follow the rules and keep an open mind, go for it. Live your dreams, your passions and explore safely and wisely.
Oh and p.s. …don’t forget to send a postcard!