Coronavirus: When is a good time to book your next holiday abroad?

Amanda Statham
Photo credit: Gaizka Portillo Benito - Getty Images

From Cosmopolitan

With the UK currently in lockdown thanks to coronavirus, life’s all about staying home and not spreading Covid-19 right now. But that doesn’t mean we can’t still dream of golden beaches and infinity pools, right? The question is, when will we experience them again?

While there are obviously bigger things at play, you'd be forgiven for dreaming of warmer climates and dipping you toes in the sea. And while all but key workers should be quarantining to their homes for now, we can definitely look to holiday plans in the future.

At the moment, holiday plans have been shelved and flights around the world have been halted, in a bid to slow down the rise of the virus. As well as easyJet’s fleet temporarily grounding, Virgin Atlantic has suspended flights until at least April 26 and airlines such as Qantas say all scheduled international flights are suspended until the end of May 2020.

When might I be able to go travel abroad amid the coronavirus pandemic?

Photo credit: Alexander Spatari - Getty Images

If restrictions begin to ease in line with Wuhan in China (the origin of Coronavirus), passenger flights could be operational again in three months, with most experts predicting early Autumn departures.

CEO of easyJet Holidays, Garry Wil-son, told Cosmopolitan UK, “We’re monitoring all the relevant advice all the time and as soon as it changes, we’ll be ready to start taking off. At the moment we’re seeing lots of people booking and amending for later on this year, into September and October.”

Photo credit: CosmopolitanUK

Early Autumn is also when Mark Hall, Director of Product at leading tour operator TUI UK, envisages customers jetting off.

“We know people will want to travel again and, whilst it’s difficult to predict, we do think that Autumn and Winter getaways could prove more popular than ever as people still want their yearly holiday. We may see more late bookings as people cautiously search for the best deals.”

According to Hall, popular holiday hot spots like Florida and the Canaries are still top of online searches, plus he predicts a demand for Caribbean holidays as people crave winter sun at the end of a crazy 2020.

"We know people still dream of travel and we expect people will begin to find inspiration for their future holidays and think about their travel plans for 2021 very soon."

So, should I book a holiday for post-coronavirus now?

With the Foreign Office warning us not to travel abroad indefinitely, it might feel counterintuitive to be browsing holiday websites on lockdown.

But if you are longing to escape, now could be a good time to bag a bargain for later in the year, as some airlines and tour operators are offering free changes and cancellations in a bid to get much-needed forward bookings.

Photo credit: Thomas Winz - Getty Images

This added flexibility makes buying a holiday feel less risky. If tighter restrictions are reimposed to bring the virus back under control (either here or in the country you’re travelling to), you should theoretically be able to shift your holiday to 2021 for no extra cost.

easyJet Holidays has already brought forward its winter 20/21 schedule “to give everyone a little more flexibility and offer some holiday inspiration", with some deals going as inexpensively as seven nights at the five-star C Lounge resort in Turkey from £275pp, all-inclusive and including flights, in December.

Photo credit: Getty Images

British Airways has hastily installed a Book With Confidence system aimed at providing peace of mind by allowing you to buy now but change your destination OR date of travel (or both) for no extra charge. It’s valid for all new bookings up to May 31 for travel between now and 31 December 2020.

If you do decide to take the plunge, make sure you book with an ATOL-protected company (look for the logo and licence number on websites), ensure you have adequate travel insurance and buy with a credit card, so you’ll be fully protected if the travel company or airline goes bust before your break.

Will travel insurance cover any holiday bookings now?

Big insurance firms such as AXA, Post Office and InsureandGo have changed their policies to not include coronavirus. A new message at the top of AXA's website reads: "If you purchase a new policy now, it will not cover any trip cancellation or disruption in relation to coronavirus."

This essentially means if you choose to book a trip now that eventually gets cancelled because of coronavirus, you would not be covered. Worth keeping in mind for your future trips, if they don't include flexible offerings.

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Cosmopolitan UK's May issue is out now and available for purchase online and via Readly. You can also SUBSCRIBE HERE or read on Apple News+. Find our podcast 'All The Way With...' on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and the Acast app.

The information in this story is accurate as of the publication date. While we are attempting to keep our content as up-to-date as possible, the situation surrounding the coronavirus pandemic continues to develop rapidly, so it's possible that some information and recommendations may have changed since publishing. For any concerns and latest advice, visit the World Health Organisation. If you're in the UK, the National Health Service can also provide useful information and support, while US users can contact the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

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