Wednesday, October 5, 2022

ABTA: Be a savvy traveller this summer with last-minute holiday checklist

ABTA is urging holidaymakers to double check they have the right COVID-19 documentation, this summer. With 60 per cent of people planning to travel abroad this summer, rising to three in four families (75 per cent), ABTA – The Travel Association is urging holidaymakers to go through a final checklist of actions to make sure they’ve got everything in place for their summer holidays.

One of the most important steps is to check the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) travel advice for the country they’re visiting (gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice). In particular this year it will be important to know the latest COVID-19 requirements set by that country for entering it and any health measures in place once at the destination to limit the spread of the virus, such as wearing a face covering.

While many overseas destinations have relaxed or removed their COVID-19 requirements, some of the UK’s most popular holiday destinations, including Spain and France, do still have restrictions in place. Both these destinations require visitors aged 12 and over to present either proof of vaccination, proof of recovery or a negative test for entry, so ABTA is encouraging travelers to double check they’ve got the right COVID-19 documents and have them ready for check-in.

As many holidaymakers will be heading to Europe for the first time since the UK left the European Union (EU), ABTA is also reminding holidaymakers of the differences they need to be aware of and prepare for, before they head to their favourite European destinations.

This includes checking if there are additional charges to use their mobile phone while abroad, making sure they don’t take any items that contain milk or meat into the EU and being aware that they will need to use the non-EU visitor lanes when passing through passport control.

The year’s peak travel period is set to begin on July 22 when many schools break up for the summer holidays. Graeme Buck, Director of Communications at ABTA – The Travel Association said: “This summer is set to be the busiest travel period since the pandemic began, with families in particular making the most of the school holidays to enjoy an overseas break. Following our checklist will help make journeys as smooth as possible.”

“This includes keeping a close eye on the latest COVID-19 requirements for your holiday as your departure date nears to make sure you have everything you need. It’s especially important that families travelling to Spain or France, where some COVID-19 restrictions are still in place, have read the FCDO travel advice and are clear on the documentation that each member of their family will need to present for entry.”

ABTA’s last-minute holiday checklist:

  • Regularly check the FCDO travel advice (gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice) for your destination to keep across the latest COVID-19 entry requirements and health advice. You can also sign up to receive email alerts.
  • Make sure you get the COVID-19 documents you need for your destination, such as proof of vaccination or a negative test, and don’t forget to take face coverings for use if needed on your journey and while you’re on holiday.
  • Take out comprehensive travel insurance that covers your individual circumstances. Many policies include cover for COVID-19, such as medical expenses while on holiday or cancellation if you’re unable to travel.
  • If you’re travelling to Europe, check how the changes since the UK left the EU will affect your trip, such as the rules around mobile data roaming and taking food into the EU.
  • Do a final check of your passports to make sure they will be valid for your travel dates.
  • Plan your journey in advance and allow extra time for traffic, planned road closures or engineering works.
  • Make sure you arrive at the airport at the time advised by your airline and be ready to present your passport and any COVID-related documents you need at check-in. You may also have the option to check-in online which may save you time.
  • Prepare your hand luggage for security, making sure any liquids you’re taking are in containers of 100ml or less and all fit inside a 20cm x 20cm clear plastic bag. Place this bag in the trays provided, alongside any large electrical items like laptops and tablets, and take off bulky items of clothing like coats, jackets and belts.
  • For anyone thinking of booking a last-minute break, book a package holiday with an ABTA Member for the greatest level of protection. ABTA’s latest research shows people are 37 per cent more likely to book with a travel professional now than before the pandemic, mainly to benefit from their up-to-date advice (45per cent), the security of a package holiday (43 per cent) and help with COVID-19 requirements (41 per cent).
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