Uncertain to travel, should I still book my holidays?
New Year 2021 is here and January is usually one of the busiest months for bookings. But people do not trust travel agents, In case of travel restrictions they will receive their money back, especially from the big domestic parties such as Sykes (when talking about holiday cottages and houses in the UK). Should we plan and book without a fear of losing our money?
My answer is YES! We need something to look forward to, finally sunshine in the darkness, planning is very healthy for our mental health. Here are the tips I would be looking at when booking a holiday.
Book with a “real person”
Booking with a big travel agent with hundreds and thousands of properties under their belt does not necessarily mean you get security. Now people are still waiting for refunds and some agents refuse to refund their service fees (which are very high in comparison with smaller agents). Sometimes, booking with a “real person” means you will get the personal experience, you will not talk to customer service assistants who cannot do anything better than what they are told to; you will get quick and correct responses; you know who you are dealing with and you will certainly get a real connection.
Check the cancellation policy
Your insurance will probably not cover the damage caused by Covid-19, therefore I would not rely on that. I would not pay extra money for that kind of insurance because it may be very misleading and without promise and security. The way forward is simple: Before the booking, just double check the cancellation policy. When you ask a small/independent company you will get the quick and correct response regarding the cancellation policy for each property. You will not lose your money if you choose the right cancellation policy and you agree with that. By law you should get the money back at the moment the travel becomes illegal and that is the point where us all should stick to. “derbyshire homes & more” are offering 100% refund if you are unable to travel (https://derbyshire-homes.com/book-your-stay/).
Secure the place before it is gone
As we have experienced last year, the moment the restrictions are lifted prices of accommodation can be much higher than now. Understandably, it’s a trend we might see within the hospitality industry such as trains/flights/restaurants as the businesses need to recover from the crisis. Therefore, it might happen again in the summer especially if travelling abroad will be complicated by constant changes. If you’d rather stay in the UK as a “safer” option, now is the time to get the deal! Checking the cancellation policy gives you the confidence of being able to secure the dates and paying asking price rather than market price at the later date. OR you might need to compromise – different area, different accommodation or different budget.
If I can give advice, I think it’s not a risk to plan a holiday if you know who you are dealing with & what the cancellation policy is.