09 April 2020 by Francesca Sharp
Article updated 20th October 2020.
Travelling might not be top of everyone’s agenda in the short-term, but if you have time on your hands, or you’re just searching for a new, positive project to look to the future, then planning your next trip is a great way to help to lift spirits and get ahead of the game. Get loved ones involved too and plan the ideal trip for everyone.
If we’ve learnt anything over recent months’ it’s that things can be unpredictable and fast moving. Whenever and wherever you plan to travel, always check FCDO’s travel advice to help you choose carefully, stay safe and travel aware. The FCDO update their information regularly so keep checking as you explore which destination you may select, along with staying abreast of your own local government advice and that of the location you plan to visit.
Many airlines are releasing their flights in advance for the whole of 2021 and holiday travel organisations are offering package deals and accommodation ahead of schedule. Avoid making last-minute decisions, or paying a fortune when travel demand picks up, by taking the time to research your ideal trip now.
This is especially important as there may be less choice with some providers staying closed and those that are open may have less capacity due to social distancing requirements. Now could be the time to opt for a private space, like a cottage, villa, or apartment rather than a hotel as there will be less footfall. Whatever you are looking for and whatever your budget - Airbnb is a good start. Alternatively, if you still fancy sticking to hotels or apartments, then Booking.com offer the widest range of deals with many providing free cancellation up to 48 hours before your stay.
If you fancy somewhere in Europe, maybe a cooler trip to Scandinavia, or sun drenched holiday to Southern Europe, then looking at the easyJet holidays site is a start to see all flights available in late 2020 to late 2021. As one of Europe’s main airlines, they’re actually offering flights well in advance at the moment. See their route map for all flight routes they operate. Or opt for a flight comparison sites such as Skyscanner, Kayak, Expedia, Opodo and Momondo.
Quite a few airline websites offer an ‘inspire me’ tool such as easyJet’s tool to help you decide from a range of factors to manage your options and source a holiday based on budget, departing airport, dates and your key factors for travelling such as a beach getaway, snowy expedition, family trip, solo tour, couples or honeymoon retreat, an island paradise or an action-packed adventure. This selection trip tool is useful to uncover what locations are perfectly matched to your criteria and to see what other people recommend. If you’re not restricted to Europe then why not use the iconic Lonely Planet resources such as this destination finder to explore which continent, country and city would be best suited to your next trip away! Once you’ve chosen your destination, why not use Lonely Planet destination travel guides to increase your knowledge on what the place has to offer and find out what other travellers recommend. Nothing’s better than relaxing with a nice travel book to get you excited about your trip! And your long awaited adventure will be all the better because you’ve prepared in advance.
If cost is a major factor to choosing your holiday destination then why not use Skyscanner’s ‘Inspire me price map’ or easyJet’s ‘low fare finder’ to help you find your perfect location at the best price whilst on a budget. Although booking a holiday might not seem a top priority right now due to the uncertainty of the situation, airlines and accommodation are lowering their prices all the time, so it can be a great opportunity to lock-in a deal for later this year or 2021. Some airlines or travel packages are even offering a ‘Coronavirus guarantee’ so you can amend your dates and reschedule (without any additional charges), should your travel be impacted by coronavirus travel restrictions. For further peace of mind, why not speak to the travel company or airline on live chat or via phone or email to find out booking terms and conditions before you purchase.
Being able to speak the local language in your trip destination can come in very handy, even if it’s just a few key phrases! Why not spend some of your quarantine time learning a new language through an app or website. Duolingo being one of the most well-known and user-friendly. If you’re travelling with other people or your family, why not get everyone involved and create a contest to see who knows the most words or phrases before your trip. You never know when using your phrases can come in good use, from asking directions, paying for goods or services to even just saying please, thank you and hello!
Read also: 10 Winning Travel Hacks
The key advice given by most travel experts is to make sure you buy travel insurance as soon as you book any part of your trip. It’s essential to have travel and medical cover in place so you are protected against emergencies that may occur during your trip, or even certain events before you travel that may prevent you from going. Many policies now include Coronavirus emergency medical expense cover if you contract the virus while on your trip, including Globelink, so it’s worth reviewing the reliable travel policy options we offer.
With plenty of time before your trip away, why not plan out your itinerary for each day so you can make the most of your holiday. Be mindful that some attractions may be closed, or have reduced hours and capacity and you will almost certainly need to book in advance. Consider researching restaurants, or any daytrips that you may want to book too. Create a priority ranking list to determine which holiday activities come out on top. This way you save valuable time researching, evaluating and debating holiday activity options when you’re on holiday!
Packing and last-minute travel purchases can be time-consuming, costly and stressful. To be organised for your trip, why not create a list of travel items that you need to purchase and a packing list for your holiday? This way, you can take your time and know you have everything you need! It’s then just a case of crossing things off the list when the time comes! It’s a great timesaver and avoids a last minute panic, or unnecessary time and a money while away buying something that could have been simple and cheap to source at home. At this time, you should certainly not travel without a good supply of face coverings (including spares), travel size hand sanitizer and antibacterial wipes.
And lastly, whenever and wherever you travel, always check FCDO’s travel advice to help you stay safe and travel aware.