After a long period without being able to travel, many people are itching to get on a plane and start exploring the world again. While COVID hasn’t gone away, it’s now finally possible to travel to places that have been off-limits for the best part of two years.
It’s great that travel is possible again, but there are still some things you’ll need to keep in mind at this time. Things could change at any minute, and that’s something you need to be prepared for. But as long as you’ve done your research and tick all of the necessary boxes, (most of) the world is your oyster. Feeling prepared can help you avoid feeling stressed while travelling, so that you can enjoy your break.
Are you ready to travel again? Here are some useful tips for planning your next adventure.
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Consult your bucket list
Travel has been restricted for a long time, and even when some restrictions were eased, many people chose to stay at home while things improved. Now that most countries are open for visiting again (and you can see the latest from the UK Government here), it’s your chance to visit some of the places that have been on your bucket list.
Go through your list of dream destinations and work out which ones are possible at this time. A place that seemed out of reach before might just be possible now!
See where’s good at this time of year
While it’s nice to be able to go to a wide range of destinations now, you’ll want to think carefully about where’s good to go at this time of year.
It will depend on what type of travel you enjoy, but you’re sure to find something that appeals. If you love the outdoors, then this time of year is perfect for heading to destinations like Canada or Scandinavia and getting to appreciate their magnificent scenery at this time of year. For sun-worshippers, there are still a lot of places with pleasant temperatures at this time of year like Turkey and the Canary Islands, while popular luxury destinations like the Maldives are about to enter their peak weather season!
See where’s popular to travel at this time of year (Instagram is great for this!) and start making some exciting plans.
Find great deals to keep your costs down
The travel industry has taken a big hit over the last 18 months. This is going to impact prices. Some places will have upped their prices to make up for their shortfalls, while others might lower them in the hopes of encouraging people to book if they see a bargain.
There are a lot of great tips to help you book the cheapest flights, and if you can be flexible with when you travel, you’ll be able to snap up the best deals! Just remember to factor in your other costs like luggage, travel to the airport, and parking. A cheap flight at a faraway airport seems great until you add up the total cost of getting there too!
Research the rules of where you’re going
Restrictions easing may mean you can travel again, but it doesn’t mean that everything is exactly as it used to be. Just as we have rules in the UK that need to be followed, each country will have its own set of rules too. Check the Government’s Foreign Travel Advice pages before your trip to make sure you know what to expect when you arrive.
Face masks are still a requirement in most countries, and there may be restrictions on entry to places if you can’t prove that you’re vaccinated, etc. Avoid disappointment by getting to grips with the rules before you arrive.
Plan your trip in detail
Making detailed plans for your trip is important to make sure you can do and see everything you want to do. It’s a little more difficult to be spontaneous at the moment, so you’ll want to create an itinerary before you set off.
Consider booking tables at restaurants, bars, and visitor attractions to make sure you can go everywhere you want to go. You could ask for some assistance at your hotel too to see if they have any recommendations or can make a booking for you.
Put some emergency savings in place
Travel can be unpredictable right now. While the traffic light system has largely come to an end, you never know what could happen with COVID variants, etc. You should make sure you have some emergency savings built up to help cover any unexpected travel, extra hotel stays, etc. Even if you don’t need to use it, you can always use the money to book another trip or treat yourself to something nice at the airport on your way home.
Be cautious in the lead-up
COVID cases are rising, and you don’t want to run the risk of catching it before you go away. In the period leading up to your trip, you might want to think about spending some time in isolation or taking extra precautions when you’re out and about. After waiting a long time to be able to travel, you don’t want to ruin it by being ill just before you’re due to set off!
Triple check all travel requirements
There is a lot to pay attention to when it comes to travelling right now, so you’ll want to make sure you’ve triple-checked that you fulfil all the requirements and have completed any forms that you need to be able to travel.
You’ll also want to check your passport. Familiarise yourself with the new passport guidance following Brexit to make sure you comply with everything. For some destinations, you’ll need at least 6 months on your passport to gain entry.
If you plan on travelling for longer, you’ll also need to ensure you comply with all visa regulations. You can get help securing visas for Europe to make sure you can travel freely. Brexit has meant a number of changes for Brits at border controls, so don’t assume everything will be as it was before.
Stay safe wherever you are
Maintaining your personal safety is the most important thing when travelling, besides enjoying yourself, of course. You should take all personal health and safety precautions such as washing your hands, wearing a mask where needed, etc. You should also find out what to do if you need medical attention during your trip, and where the nearest pharmacy is.
Being able to explore somewhere different and exciting can mean that your guard is let down, but more than ever, it’s important to keep safe and not be reckless. Remember to get your data allowance checked as well to make sure you can use your phone freely while overseas – it’s extremely helpful for finding where you need to go when you’re in an unfamiliar place.
Don’t forget insurance
Travel insurance should already be a top priority for your travels, but it’s surprising how many people fail to get travel insurance. Today, you’re going to need to find a provider that will also cover COVID-related incidents, and there aren’t many of those around at the moment.
Some of the best COVID travel insurance providers include the RAC and Sainsbury’s bank. Check with reputable providers to see in detail what their plans cover. Your insurance could be a real lifeline if you’re faced with some out-of-pocket travel costs.
Now that travel is back on the table, it’s time to start making some plans! Just remember to follow all of the guidance carefully and look after your own health and safety to make sure you have an enjoyable trip. Where’s first up on your travel list?