Holidays: how to ‘protect’ 2022 travel bookings from sudden Covid cancellations | Travel news | trip

According to new research from Mews industry experts, a quarter (27 per cent) of UK adults plan to take more holidays in 2022 than in previous years. A fifth of them said they were planning a distant holiday, while a third planned to take more holidays in the UK. However, with the rising Covid cases due to the Omicron variant, it is clear that the uncertainty of the pandemic is not entirely behind us.

However, for those looking forward to vacations, this uncertainty can come with an unwanted cost.

That’s why it’s vital that people looking to book their travel plans protect their travel plans, but how exactly do you do this?

Get the right travel insurance

Perhaps the most important part of booking travel, even before the coronavirus set in, is buying adequate travel insurance.

Antony Martin, director of Insurefor.com told Express.co.uk: “The right insurance cover ensures they are fully protected prior to their trip, thus avoiding financial losses.”

While travel insurance covers everything from delayed flights to lost luggage, it’s arguably more important than ever in the era of COVID-19.

Tim Riley, director of True Traveler said: “There are two different questions here. The first is to cancel because you’ve contracted COVID, and the second is to cancel because a travel restriction has been put in place in an area that prevents you from traveling there.

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If you or any of your family members contract the coronavirus before travelling, it is essential that you check the fine print of your insurance policy.

Mr Riley told Express.co.uk: “Most travel insurers, including True Traveler, offer cancellation coverage if you catch COVID before you travel. Travel companies or airlines are not required to offer flexible cancellation or change fees for any illness or injury, so that’s one of the reasons why travel insurance is pretty much a must when traveling. If you’re not sure if your travel insurance covers COVID, ask them.”

If a travel restriction, such as advice from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, prevents you from traveling, this is in the hands of your travel provider.

Mr Riley added: “The tour operator or airline should offer you a full refund or a free date change. This is the law under the Package Travel Regulations.

“However, if you are your own travel agent and, for example, book your flights directly with an airline and your accommodation directly with the hotel, your airline will refund you, but your hotel may not and does not have to.

“That is why it is wise to book a package at a travel agency in these uncertain times.”

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Look for a “Promise of Protection”

In the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, a spate of sudden holiday cancellations left airlines, hotels and tour operators inundated with customer complaints.

Since then, many services in the travel and tourism sector have introduced “protection promises” that guarantee refunds or rebooking options in the event of unexpected cancellations.

Paul Melinis, managing director of river cruise and touring specialist APT, told Express.co.uk: “For peace of mind against cancellations, booking ahead with a reputable operator who have flexible policies makes pre-booking risk free. “

Elegant Resorts director Lisa Fitzell added: “Travel advice is currently constantly changing and with a high number of Covid cases occurring here and around the world, flexibility is key.

“Very early in the pandemic, we introduced the Elegant Promise with low deposits and flexibility to adjust the hotels until departure and cancellation protection if key government advice changes, so customers can book their vacation knowing that their bookings and money will be saved. protected.”

Getting a date in the calendar can also be crucial when it comes to saving money.

Mr Riley said: “Prices for holidays and flights are very low at the moment, and as demand is low, airlines and tour operators are still keeping prices low to encourage demand.

“Now is the ideal time to book, and after two years of uncertainty there is huge pent-up demand so prices will rise and there is little chance of last minute discounts. “

He also points to airlines that are taking older aircraft out of service, such as British Airways that have retired the entire 747 fleet, adding, “There is literally less capacity.”

However, when booking travel, it is vital that you take out insurance at the same time to ensure full protection should conditions take a sudden nosedive.

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