Don’t count on a holiday abroad this year

With travel firms offering big discounts, people have rushed to grab a bargain. But it is unlikely Britons will be able to holiday overseas this year.

It seems we’re not letting lockdown get in the way of our dreams of a summer holiday abroad. “Since the start of May millions of pounds have been spent on holidays that may not take place,” says Marianna Hunt in The Telegraph. With travel firms offering big discounts, people have rushed to grab a bargain. 

The problem is it may turn out to be a hellish experience rather than a holiday. The government has warned that it is unlikely Britons will be able to holiday overseas. People travelling abroad from 8 June will have to quarantine for 14 days when they return, a system that is also being enforced in several European countries.

“Holidaymakers aren’t going to be able to take trips where the quarantine period at both ends totals 28 days,” says Rory Boland, editor of Which Travel.

The problem for people who have been busy booking holidays is that if they have to cancel, they are going to find themselves at the back of a very long queue for a refund. And they are “unlikely to be able to buy travel insurance that would cover them for disruption caused by coronavirus, as many insurers have added Covid-19 restrictions to their policies”, says Hunt.

Book a package holiday and you are entitled to a full refund by law. Pay with a credit card and you can also seek a refund from your credit-card provider under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act. But as we’ve already seen, many firms are dragging their heels when it comes to refunds. The best advice is not to book until you are sure the borders will have reopened and your trip can go ahead.  

“Airlines and holiday companies must be given clear... guidance on what dates [they can] sell flights and holidays for,” says Boland. Don’t be tempted by great deals from holiday firms that may never actually deliver that trip.

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