The question on everyone’s mind at the moment is “should I book my summer holiday now?”, and you’d be forgiven for being confused about the answer!
We’re all itching to go on holiday this summer, but are we allowed?
What if I want to cancel the holiday or there’s another lockdown?
Will I get my money back?
We’re here to answer all these questions and more. Summer travel may be up in the air at the moment, but we have some tips to take the stress out of booking your summer holiday, and ensure that you’ve done it in the safest way possible. We’ll also take a look at some summer travel ideas for 2021 to ensure you get the most out of this year!
How to book your summer travel plans safely:
- Book sooner rather than later
- Opt for a staycation
- Book a package deal
- Be flexible
- Use an online travel agency
- Make sure it’s refundable
- Go for the flexible rebooking option
- Get the travel insurance
Tips for booking your holiday this summer
When should you book your summer travel?
Whilst it might be tempting to wait and see how things go before booking anything for this summer, if you wait too long, you might miss out on good deals. As travel conditions are uncertain throughout the coronavirus pandemic, many airlines and travel agencies have upheld a free rebooking policy on holidays booked at this time. Take advantage of these lenient rebooking policies now, as they might not still be around closer to summer.
Similarly, as we draw closer to summer and lockdowns start to ease, flight and hotel prices will steadily increase as the world opens up and demand for a holiday reaches its peak. Booking your summer travel as far in advance as possible is advisable to avoid paying high prices.
Book domestic travel to avoid the holiday getting cancelled
If you want to be sure that your holiday doesn’t get cancelled at the last minute, one thing to consider is to travel locally and take a “staycation”. Whilst it might not be as exciting as jetting off to the other side of the world, a staycation has a number of advantages and there are plenty of things to do on a staycation to keep you entertained. Travelling locally means that your holiday is less likely to be affected by national lockdown regulations or quarantine requirements. Staycations are a nice way to support local businesses, and they’re much less likely to be cancelled than holidays abroad.
Book your flight, hotel and car together
Book your holiday as a package deal, with your flight, hotel and car all under one booking. It makes it a lot easier to manage when having to rebook or request a refund for your holiday. You only have to deal with one booking, and your flight, hotel and car will all have the same rebooking options. Furthermore, if you need to request a refund for your booking, you will receive the refund for all the components at the same time, rather than getting it in dribs and drabs as you deal with different companies.
Be flexible (you might have to change the dates)
No one wants to have to rebook a holiday, but sometimes it’s necessary. Especially in these uncertain times, where travel regulations are unpredictable. You have to keep an open mind and be aware that you may well have to change the dates that you initially booked. This might mean delaying your summer travel by a couple of weeks, or you may even have to choose a new destination. The important thing to keep an open mind and make sure the tickets you book are flexible so that you too can be flexible in your plans if you need to be.
Use an online travel agency to book your holiday
Online travel agencies (OTAs) are websites that are dedicated to travel services. They scour millions of offers from different airlines, hotel groups and car rental companies to put together the cheapest and most convenient holidays for customers. A recent independent study by OnePoll found that 52% of travellers value price the most in the booking process, followed by convenience of route. If price and convenience is what you want from your holiday booking provider, then an OTA is the way to go.
We estimate that customers will save a combined one million hours this year by booking with eDreams, compared to booking directly with airlines. When you have the best prices from every airline at your fingertips, there’s no need to spend hours trawling different websites to find an option that works for you. With eDreams, you can book your flight, hotel and car rental together as a package and have all the components for your summer travel under one booking, making it easier to manage.
Extra tip! Download the eDreams app to easily manage your booking from your smartphone. You’ll be able to track your flights in real time and be the first to know about any delays or cancellations.
Make sure your summer travel is refundable
With each airline and travel company having different rules on claiming refunds for cancelled flights, it can be hard to know if you’re eligible for a refund, and for how much. Not all bookings are refundable, regardless of the situation, so before you book anything make sure to double check the refund policy on your summer travel bookings. Some things to keep in mind before booking:
- Voluntary / involuntary cancellations. If an airline has to cancel a flight, it is likely that they will provide full refunds to customers. However, what if the flight goes ahead but you are unable to make it? Voluntary cancellations are usually under a different policy to involuntary cancellations, and are less likely to be refunded without being covered by additional insurance.
- Airline specific policies. Not all airlines or travel companies will offer the same refund policies, even if you’re looking at the same routes. Always check the individual refund policies of the company you are booking your flight or holiday with.
- Force majeure. There are some cancellations which are out of the control of the travel company or airline that fall under “force majeure”. Make sure to check exactly what is covered in the refund policy of the company you choose.
Read more about the eDreams flight cancellation and refund policy here. Get information on how to cancel or modify your flight, as well as how to claim a refund on your booking.
Choose an option that has flexible rebooking
To avoid any nasty surprises, book a flight or holiday that has free rebooking included. Then, if you need to change your holiday date for any reason, you’ll be able to change it free of charge without any hassle. eDreams offers free rebooking on all flights where you see the free rebooking label.
Buy travel insurance to cancel for any reason
Are you someone who always unticks the extra insurance option? It’s time to go against your instincts and cave in for that all-important insurance. Now more than ever, plans change, countries go into lockdown, flights get cancelled, and you’re left without a holiday to go on. Be safe and get the extra insurance, to protect your holiday from any possible hurdles.
At eDreams, our cancel for any reason insurance covers you if you need to cancel your holiday. For any reason. It will ensure that you get back 80% of the total price paid for the ticket, if you cancel your booking. Cancellations can be done up to 24 hours before the departure of the flight and conditions do apply.
Where can you travel this summer?
If 2020 was the summer of pandemic-enforced staycations, many of us seem to be hoping that 2021 will be the summer we can travel abroad, but there are some big “ifs” involved. The safety aspect remains a big priority for travellers. This year in fact, how attractive a holiday destination is will depend on factors like possible quarantine requirements and local infection and vaccination rates. In addition, even if we are able to travel this summer the majority of countries require pre-departure and post-arrival tests.
Despite these roadblocks, the prospect of travelling abroad seems more promising now than just a few months ago and most of the major airlines and international hotel companies are preparing for a meaningful recovery of international travel.
With travel restrictions being loosened in many countries, some airlines are eyeing this summer to expand their international flights. They continue to adjust their flight schedules to the demand as vaccines become more available whilst keeping their focus on the health and safety measures put in place during the pandemic.
At the same time many of us – especially those who were unable to take the vacations they hoped or planned last year – see this summer as an opportunity for our first big leisure trip. Seeking distraction during the lockdown the majority of us spent time looking for inspiration, researching potential travel destinations and day-dreaming about our next holiday.
One thing is certain: this summer, more than a year into the pandemic, we’re getting antsy to get back out there. COVID-19 made our homes the hot holiday destination for 2020 and we are really sick of being stuck in the same place.
You might want to travel both domestically and internationally despite the complications, or you might be waiting to get vaccinated to travel. So how do you make plans for a getaway this summer and responsibly discover new experiences? Here’s some summer travel ideas you might want to consider. Take a look!
Summer travel ideas
There is a new way of travelling emerging as a result of the pandemic, “eco-friendly” travel. People from all generations have become more aware of their environmental impact and are trying to reduce their carbon footprint. If you want to add your contribution, here are a few tips on how to have a more eco-conscious mindset and help to change the way you travel this summer.
Try to embrace more eco-friendly and carbon-neutral methods of getting from one place to another: choose local transportation and food and rely on vacation homes or campsites instead of big hotels. For example, with a campervan you’ll be able to travel and yet relax surrounded by your “own four walls” at the same time.
If you want to follow Greta Thunberg’s steps and reduce your travel footprint, you might want to consider train travel instead of air travel. Overall, trains are more energy-efficient methods of travel than both planes and cars, putting out less-harmful carbon emissions to the environment, they are more cost-efficient and they are also less stressful.
Forget the hassle of getting to the airport and being squeezed into sardine class before the “real” holiday begins. Last but not least, rail holidays offer an immersive way to travel through some of the most impressive train routes across Europe or the world. As the landscapes roll by your window, the train trip will ease you into a relaxed mindset and you’ll be fully ready to enjoy your summer travel.
Hit the road
Another option instead of flying or other forms of transportation is getting away by car. It is also a safer way of travelling since it involves less exposure to people outside your bubble. If you want to travel with your partner, family or a group of friends this summer, you can feel safe and comfortable on your four-wheels adventure.
And then think of that wonderful sense of freedom driving on the road and taking unknown routes and trails. Or if you are a meticulous planner you might want to know ahead of time what your itinerary will be like: there are lots of splendid car routes that you can enjoy out there. All you have to do is hop on and drive to your destination!
After so much time spent indoors, are you craving to explore the wild? If so, outdoor activity-filled trips are the ones for you! They are also a very safe choice thanks to the open air and ease of social distancing. This kind of travel favours rural tourism in the countryside or the mountains and in general destinations that are off the beaten path.
What will be on the agenda during your summer travel? Fresh air, with the backdrop of natural beauty and one or more of your favourite activities. It can mean hiking in the woods or a boating adventure on a lake: just listen to nature’s calls and live the authentic experience.
If you’ve been working remotely for the past year, no matter how gorgeous your home office is or how many upgrades you’ve made to your work-from-home station, you might be really eager for a change of scenery. So how about heading out on a work-cation this summer?
It’s not quite a vacation, because you will still be working, but at least you will be in a different place and you’ll have the chance to relax away from home outside of working hours. Or you could simply extend your holiday by staying an extra week or two to work remotely. All you have to do is check the hotel’s home office facilities and Wi-Fi speed and off you go!
Surprise, surprise! Domestic trips remain on travellers’ wishlist for summer 2021 as in the new Coronavirus world they remain easier, safer and often more sustainable. Although many of us had to switch our holiday plans in 2020 from a trip abroad to a vacation closer to home, we might still have the desire to reconnect with our local culture and history.
Domestic trips also offer the chance to help revive the local economy and support local businesses. They are also an occasion to escape big cities and visit lesser-known destinations. There is no better way of embracing domestic travel than starting your discovery in your own backyard!
Whatever the type of travel or destination you might choose, make sure to check with the local or national guidelines ahead of time to ensure that you are aware of all the requirements and restrictions before your trip.