Don’t Cancel Your Trip, Postpone It
While travel restrictions in the UK continue to change, heading off on holiday might not feel like the right thing to do. But even if your upcoming travel plans have changed, think first about postponing your trip – don’t cancel it altogether. Travel agencies and tourism operators need financial backing from consumers to keep their business open, and many companies are using prepaid reservations to pay the salaries of their staff. Instead of requesting a refund, if you can afford to do so, reschedule your holiday or ask for travel vouchers to support companies who may otherwise be forced into administration.
Take Out Annual Travel Insurance
Having adequate travel insurance has never been more important, but before you choose a single-trip policy, consider taking out annual travel insurance instead. Also known as ‘multi-trip’ travel insurance, it covers consumers for trips taken within the space of a year (subject to individual T&Cs). Not only will this support insurance companies, if you’re a frequent traveller, it can be more cost effective in the long run, too. Compare The Market, Money Supermarket and TravelSupermarket are all reputable comparison sites – and when travel restrictions begin to ease, you’ll be grateful to have a good insurance policy to protect you against Covid-related issues, cancellation, curtailment (when your holiday is cut short). However, as travel expert Antony Martin recently told us – don’t just go for the cheapest option, make sure all your travel needs are covered.
Start Planning Your 2021 Trips
As soon as corridors start to reopen for UK travellers, it’s a good idea to have some 2021 plans ready to go. Look at Instagram and follow travel bloggers for inspiration and, more importantly, don’t put off booking future holidays. Just remember that when you’re browsing airlines, hotels, and travel websites, to look for flexibility. Providing you’re able to rearrange your trip and have adequate travel insurance in place, you should be covered. To keep up to date with changing restrictions, regularly check the UK Government Coronavirus Travel Corridor page – if a country is given the green light and it’s safe to go to, you’ll see it there first
Book Through Travel Agents & Smaller Companies
When you’re ready to book, consider going with a smaller, independent company or your local travel agent. Smaller businesses need our support right now, and travel agencies are no exception. Don’t just look to the biggest brands online – instead seek out smaller companies, ask for recommendations, and book with an agency who will benefit from commission rates, rather than booking your fight and hotel separately.
Buy Travel Gift Cards or Vouchers
If you’d rather stay home, why not consider buying a more adventurous loved one a travel voucher or gift card? Companies such as CoolStays, I-escape, the NH Hotel Group and Much Better Adventures offer gift cards from £20, while a full holiday voucher valid for up to two years can be bought from Responsible Travel. For spa and theatre trips in the UK, Wowcher offer gift cards from as little as £10.
Take Part In Virtual Tours
You can still travel to some of the most beautiful parts of the world, or places on your bucket list, from the comfort of your own home with a virtual tour. For as little as £10, you can have an immersive experience in a museum, wander around a European city, or head on a safari. And Beyond, Explore.org and YouTube have a great selection of virtual tours, while New York’s Museum of Modern Art and the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam (to name only a few) offer digital tours via their website.
Donate To Conservation Projects
If you can afford to do so, donate to local conservation projects – many of which have been severely impacted by the loss of tourism. There are hundreds to choose from, so it’s worth doing a bit of research first – animal sanctuaries, wildlife conservation charities and environmental causes will all benefit from donations.
Leave Positive Reviews
If you’ve been on a great holiday in the last few years but you’ve forgotten to leave a review, now is the time to do so. Hotels, Airbnbs, travel agencies, tour operators, attractions and restaurants rely on honest reviews to attract future customers, so if you had a fantastic experience at home or abroad, take a few moments to write it up. TripAdvisor is the go-to website (where you can leave reviews up to two years after your trip), while many independent companies allow customers to write reviews on their own sites, too.
Reach Out On Social Media
Once you’ve left a glowing review, reach out to companies or travel brands on social media. Understandably, morale is low, so a quick message on Instagram or Twitter could easily brighten someone’s day. If you had a particularly good experience with a member of staff at a hotel, or a memorable excursion for example, reach out to them directly to show your support.
Stock Up On Travel Essentials
Finally, stock up on travel essentials. As soon as you’re able to go away, you’ll be thankful for that new suitcase, luxury sleep mask or leather passport holder you purchased months before. If nothing else, it’ll give you something to look forward to – and we could all do with a bit of that right now.
*DISCLAIMER: Travel restrictions are changing daily, so please check the latest government advice before you book. Please ensure you are aware of the social distancing guidelines in place as well as rules on meeting up in groups larger than six.