With hopes that the Omicron variant is not as severe as earlier strains of Covid-19 (and rumours that pre-departure testing could be scrapped later this week), a surge in holiday bookings this Sunshine Saturday could well be on the cards.

Now, for those who haven’t heard of Sunshine Saturday before, it’s an event invented by the travel industry. It is thought to be the most popular day for Brits to book their summer holiday and usually falls in the first full weekend of January.

Tour operators, travel agents, airlines, and even travel insurers tend to offer bargain deals over the Sunshine Saturday weekend, so booking during this time is a good way to secure a cheap break and have something in the diary to look forward to.

So, where are the bargains? And how can you make sure that your trip is fully protected?

Book with a tour operator

Booking with a tour operator is not only a good way to secure a deal, but it offers peace of mind knowing that if the trip is part of a package holiday, then it most likely comes with financial protection under the Package Regulations Act.

A package holiday with financial protection means that if the flight or trip itself cannot go ahead and/or is cancelled by the holiday provider, then travellers are entitled to a full refund within 7 days of the cancellation. However, refunds may take a little longer to process as a result of the pandemic.

But let’s not dwell on the negative, especially when so many travel companies are boasting a range of discounted holidays in the January sales – all of which are predicted to be snapped up this Sunshine Saturday.

TUI is offering customers up to £300 off on trips departing between May and October 2022, while Love Holidays is offering low deposits from £29 per person and up to 40% off holidays this year. EasyJet is also offering up to £300 off on holidays to over 50 destinations, and On The Beach has trips on sale for as little as £177 per person.

So, what are you waiting for? Get online or in-store and book your break asap!

Book a cheaper flight

We know that package holidays don’t suit everyone and some people prefer to book their flights and accommodation separately. Booking a flight separately can have all sorts of benefits, including the chance to fly at cheaper times and greater flexibility in terms of how many nights you intend to stay away for.

But fear not, booking a flight independently doesn’t mean the trip loses all of its financial protection. It is worth knowing that under EU Law, airlines have a responsibility to provide a full refund or offer an alternative flight if a flight is cancelled or can no longer go ahead. So, Brits can book with peace of mind knowing that their trip is protected.

So, onto the deals. British Airways is currently offering discounts across all seat classes until January 25. Ryanair has seats on sale for as little as £4.99 one way, while EasyJet is offering 25% off flights with fee-free changes of up to two hours before departure!

 Buy suitable travel insurance

Now, despite elements of financial protection being available to Brits elsewhere in their holiday deals, for example, under the Package Regulations Act, buying suitable travel insurance has never been more important.

 Travel insurance is there to protect holidaymakers should anything go wrong before or during a trip. For example, if a holidaymaker is unable to travel as a result of an illness or other reason that is no fault of the tour operators, then the insurer would be responsible for covering these costs, provided there was cover for the specific reason in the policy. Additionally, while cover can vary between providers, all policies will cover medical costs should travellers fall ill abroad and need emergency medical treatment, as long as all existing medical conditions were declared, and cover was offered for them, beforehand. Of course, there’s also the importance of having protection in place should luggage go missing, should valuables be stolen, you get the picture…

What’s more, is with coronavirus and its variants still lurking, travellers must look for Covid-19 protection that suits their trip needs. Some insurers in the market offer cover for new accommodation and transportation costs if a holidaymaker were to test positive for Covid-19 abroad and have to isolate. While others offer cancellation cover if travellers test positive for Covid-19 before their trip and are no longer able to go.

Again, Covid cover will vary depending on the insurer, but having some protection against the coronavirus in place is something to consider when booking a 2022 Sunshine Saturday holiday.

 Useful articles

We’ve pulled together a list of articles that you might find helpful when planning your 2022 getaway:

As always, we’re here to help. So, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us at hello@travelinsuranceexplained.co.uk, and our team will do their very best to assist!