Holiday search tips

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

Unlike previous years, if you are searching for a holiday this year there are new things you need to take into account.

bemused cartoon figure
Is the review up-to-date? © Dan Sperrin

These are pretty obvious so I shall just list them in no particular order

 -How does the hotel/destination/accommodation/airline handle sanitisation and social distancing?.

– Does my booking have a no fee alteration policy if I can’t go because of coronavirus?

– How am I affected if there is a local lockdown and I can’t travel?

– Does my travel insurance cover me in the event I cannot travel due to local lockdowns?

– Will my airline amend my flights in the event of a local lockdown?

– Can I travel if I haven’t had a vaccination but just a COVID-19 test?

– Will I face quarantine at my destination or on my return?

– Will my travel insurance cover me if I take a staycation?

– Can I return easily if a lockdown is introduced in my home nation?

– Is my EHIC medical form still in date or do I need to apply for the new GHIC card?

– Does my passport have six months’ validity still?

-What COVID-19 rules are there at my destination?

– Have I a green card for driving in the EU?

– Will I be in the EU for more than 90 days in which case will I need a visa?

But you consider any of these items you will be mulling over which destination you might want to visit.

The two most popular ways of looking at a destination are to ask friends and to look at reviews but, this year, both have diminished value.

The chances are that your friends won’t have visited the destination you are looking at in the last year because how many of us could fly? In that time the hotel or accommodation will have changed in terms of hygiene and the numbers allowed to stay at any one time so the views of your family and friends will probably be out of date?

Their views on what to visit need checking to see if they are still open and, if they are, what will have changed?

In particular things like swimming pools, health retreats and spas will have different rules this year.

Review sites will also need careful consideration. Don’t look at any reviews older than a year. The world has changed such a lot that old comments may have little relevance this year.

Look at comments that are widely spaced apart. Having a lot of reviews with the same date or very close together with nothing for a few weeks suggests something is not quite right.

Disregard any that talk about cleanliness. We all have different ideas about how clean is clean! You might have just seen a review by someone who is very conscious of wanting everything to be immaculate. On the other hand take note if a review mentions something like dirt stuck to the underneath of tables or something like that.

Just as the travel industry is finding that it cannot rely on history to show what will happen, holidaymakers can’t rely on the past as a guide to what they will find when they travel

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