With exactly four weeks to go until Christmas Day, what better way to get in the festive spirit than planning your next getaway?

After the 18-months we’ve had, I think it’s fair to say many of us deserve to look forward to a holiday. And with destinations such as New Zealand and Australia, who have been under the toughest of Covid-19 restrictions, finally announcing plans to re-open to tourists in the New Year, we have a feeling that 2022 will be the best year yet for travel.

So, if you’re planning a break in the near future, make sure you plan ahead, keep up-to-date with the latest government advice, and protect your trip with suitable travel insurance.

Planning in advance

The Passport Office has recently admitted that it has been inundated with new requests since international travel has resumed. The announcement came with warnings that Brits could be waiting at least 10 weeks for new travel documents to be processed.

As a result of these lengthy delays, we strongly recommend that travellers who need to renew their passports do this well in advance of their holiday, allowing plenty of time for their documents to be issued. We would also advise that all travellers check that their passport has the relevant validity for the country they intend to visit well ahead of their departure, as holidaymakers will not be covered for any claims as a result of being denied entry to a country for not having suitable (or valid) documents.

Checking government advice

The UK government is continuing to review Covid-19 infection rates around the world and have stated that if cases rise too much then they will not hesitate to introduce restrictions once again.

For this reason, we urge that anyone booking a holiday keeps a close eye on the government’s travel advice for the destination they intend to visit. We’d also advise booking trips with a tour operator and/or using a credit card to make payments, where possible, just in case the trip cannot go ahead. Booking with a travel agent/tour operator and using a credit card gives travellers an extra layer of financial protection in addition to their travel insurance. If holidaymakers cannot or would prefer not to book with a tour operator, then we’d recommend taking the time to fully understand the travel and accommodation provider’s cancellation terms and conditions – just to be on the safe side.

Protecting your trip

Lastly, new research by ABTA has revealed that almost half of Brits say that holidays are more important to them now than they were before the Covid-19 pandemic. Additionally, 46% of Brits plan to spend more money on their holidays. The findings were supported by tour operators Jet2 and TUI, who have identified that holidaymakers are “upgrading from a three to a four-star hotel, extending their stay from 10 to 14 nights or opting for a more expensive destination altogether”.

While this is great news for the travel industry, those spending more on their trips must make sure they understand their cancellation limit in their travel insurance policy. The cancellation cover limit will detail the amount an insurer will allow travellers to claim up to if they need to cancel their trip, provided their reason for cancelling is covered. The limit should, at least, match the amount spent on a trip and will be detailed as either an amount per person or as the overall holiday cost.

As always, we’re here to help with any insurance-related concerns you have and can be contacted Monday-Friday at hello@travelinsuranceexplained.co.uk.