To Book Or Not To Book?

To book or not to book

To book or not to book, that is the question in this year of coronavirus, lockdowns and quarantine requirements.

A definitive answer is impossible, but here goes. In an ideal world the best advice would be to delay, especially for those who can be flexible about dates, however that runs the risk of missing out on desired destinations and dates as others, prepared to take more of a chance, get in first and availability dries up.

In the last few weeks I’ve resumed posting offers again, both my own and those of others I collaborate or network with.

In all cases, it’s best to keep taking account of the latest news regarding coronavirus risks and the possibility of new outbreaks. It’s also vital to take account of government measures to combat it, both in your own country and destination countries. That also includes regional variations within countries where specific zones, cities or districts have more stringent measures in force to combat localised outbreaks of the virus.

Many countries will also have variations in policy within them on account of having regional assemblies, state legislatures and local or state governors.

It’s also important to remember that the situation, although improving in some countries, is getting worse in others and that this is a changeable situation. Quarantine requirements could be in force at your destination or on your return from that destination, or at both ends. Medical documentation or testing requirements may also need to be complied with.

Terms and conditions will vary between operators too, there is no uniform policy across the board. Some will offer refunds for cancellation, others will not. Some may allow deferment if it proves impossible to go ahead with a booking, others will not.

You also need to be aware that advertised facilities which would normally be available, may not be open or might only be open on a restricted basis.

The financial turmoil arising from the impact that coronavirus has had on the travel industry must also be taken account of. Some businesses are sadly likely to go under or be severely cut back so government guarantees such as the UK’s ABTA and ATOL protections are more important than ever, so it’s vital to identify and confirm that too with your operator.

As ever then, it will be imperative to carefully check the terms and conditions before committing to any booking.

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