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How to Make a Travel Plan During Coronavirus

How to Make a Travel Plan During Coronavirus

As society becomes more accustomed to pandemic life, businesses are reopening, and international travel to certain destinations is resuming. Many people are using this as an opportunity to squeeze in a last-minute holiday. But, with so many rules about where you can and can’t go, isolation upon return to the UK, and tests, it can be difficult to know how to navigate travel. In this article, we will consider the various regulations and how to make a travel plan based upon them.

Woman reading on the beach

Before Travelling

Before you book that beach holiday, there are several things to bear in mind when you make a travel plan. With government travel advice regularly changing, we recommend the first thing you do before planning a trip is to refer to the government’s coronavirus travel guide webpage.

Currently, in August, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office advises against all but essential international travel. There is a list of exempted destinations with travel corridors, and the advice is being kept under review. These travel guidelines are based on the incidence rate and resilience of healthcare provision in each country. As such, mandatory 14-day quarantines are being imposed on British nationals returning from certain countries within Europe, so bear this in mind before making travel plans. If you work from home, this may not be an issue. But, if you rely on leaving the house, a compulsory two-week quarantine might be problematic for you. Therefore, look into your holiday cancellation policy, just in case the rules change and you’re forced to cancel your trip.

As well as looking at the UK guidelines for travel, familiarise yourself with the rules and restrictions in your holiday destination country as these may well differ from the UK guidelines. Above all, if you have any symptoms of COVID-19, the simplest advice is to stay at home.

Once you’ve checked that you have the all-clear to travel, consider your mode of transport. Most people in the UK aren’t travelling outside of Europe for holidays, meaning driving to Europe is a popular option. We explore the benefits of travelling by car in our previous blog post. The top two benefits of car travel during the pandemic are:

  • Less exposure to the virus, compared with passing through a busy airport and sharing a plane with strangers.
  • The freedom to drive home at short notice, if needed, without relying on an airline or paying steep prices for last minute flights.

The latter is important to consider, especially as many airlines are reaping the financial implications of COVID-19, increasing the likelihood of travellers being stranded if their airline goes bust while they are away. If you do decide to fly, you will need to wear a mask for the duration of the flight. However, in your own car, you can relax without a mask.

Before you travel, compare travel insurance plans and find one that suits your needs while travelling. Needless to say, this is essential during the current pandemic in case you fall ill abroad and need urgent care. Although a valid EHIC card covers you for any healthcare in the EU until 31 December 2020, it doesn’t replace travel insurance.

During Travel

With rules varying so much between countries, the most important thing you can do is to ensure you are complying with the safety measures at your destination. Follow local and UK updates online to stay in the loop and be aware of any changes to protocol concerning your trip. If possible, stay away from busy areas as much as possible to decrease chances of exposure to the virus. Carry masks and anti-bacterial gel with you and be cautious in densely populated areas.

Hand sanitizer and face mask

Upon Returning

When returning to the UK, check any revisions to rules for entering the UK, such as self-isolation protocol.

If you travelled by car and need to return to the UK sooner than planned, toll roads are generally your fastest route home. A toll tag can help keep your journey smooth and simple and is a fast and hygienic way to pay your toll – choose from a tag for France, Spain, or Portugal.

If you decide to go away, having a sound travel plan in place will help make the process as stress-free as possible and make it easier to pivot if travel guidelines change.

For more information on European travel, please explore our recent articles.