As the year draws to an end and we begin to wind down for a much quieter Christmas, many of us will be itching to bag ourselves a bargain holiday for 2021 in the New Year sales.
Dubbed as ‘Sunshine Saturday’, tour operators and travel insurers generally see a huge amount of holiday bookings over the first weekend of January as everyone returns to work after the Christmas break.
And as the new Covid-19 vaccine is rolled out across the UK, we do not doubt that Sunshine Saturday will be bigger and better than ever, with even more tempting deals for 2021.
So, our very own travel insurance expert, Fiona Macrae, has issued some important advice for those looking to take advantage of next year’s holiday sales.
Fiona said: “Sunshine Saturday is just the boost both Brits and the travel industry need.
“It’s a chance to give ourselves something to look forward, save a few pennies on a holiday, and put some much-needed investment in the travel industry.
“But those looking to make the most of the New Year travel deals will need to ensure that they are only booking destinations that are on the government’s travel corridor list, or at least checking that their tour operator offers some form of cancellation or flexibility protection, should their destination be removed from the list later on in the year.
“We know that this takes a little bit of the excitement out of booking a holiday, but travelling against Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office (FCDO) advice isn’t worth the risk – especially if something was to go wrong while you were away.
“The majority of travel insurance providers won’t cover you if you travel against FCDO guidance, and the few providers that do, have lots of exclusions that consumers may want to double-check.”
One of the reasons many travel insurers do not cover Brits to travel against FCDO advice is because they simply cannot guarantee that tourists can be helped if something was to go wrong while they’re abroad.
The FCDO’s website even states: “Choosing to go to a country against our travel advice may seriously restrict any help we can provide and may also mean that your travel insurance is not valid”.
So, from everyone here at Travel Insurance Explained, please, by all means do make the most of the deals available in the New Year. But make sure you follow the FCDO’s travel guidance, check your provider’s terms and conditions for flexibility should you need to move your holiday, and invest in a travel insurance policy that protects you against costs should you personally catch Covid-19 before or during your trip.
At the time of writing, it is important to note that there are no travel insurance policies that offer cancellation cover for changes in government advice due to Covid-19.