How to book a holiday in 2021 – from flexible cancellations to Covid travel insurance

A HOLIDAY next year is on everyone's mind, with a booking boom following the news of a vaccine.

However, a trip abroad is likely to be very different, with more hoops to jump through.

Destinations already require negative coronavirus tests, health forms and quarantine restrictions, with airlines such as Qantas to enforce vaccinations.

We've explained everything you will need to consider when booking your next holiday in 2021.

Get relevant travel insurance

Most destinations will require travel insurance which will protect you from any coronavirus related expenses.

It is also worth checking what the insurer will cover – some may not cover all costs including quarantine or flights home if you catch it on holiday.

Travel insurance expert Tricia Tietema told City AM that some insurers may invalidate your claim if you don't get the vaccine when you are able to.

She said: "It is the case that most of the larger insurers would already have declined claims for tropical diseases such as malaria or yellow fever if the traveller has not taken advantage of the vaccines available – and this exclusion can be found in policy wordings."

Jet2 offer their own insurance which covers everything from failed coronavirus tests to any Covid-related expenses.

What coronavirus policies do UK tour operators have?

British Airways Holidays

BA Holiday customers can change the dates and destination of holidays without charge (apart from the difference in price) or cancel a booking for a voucher.


TUI has launched a free changes policy, for package holidays as well as hotel-only or flight-only bookings.

This allows you to change your trip free of charge up to 21 days until 21 days before travel, until December 31.

Jet2 Holidays

Jet2 has their own travel insurance you can add to your holiday, which covers holiday cancellations due to FCDO advice, failed coronavirus tests, medical expenses or any Covid-related illnesses.

EasyJet Holidays

EasyJet package holidays will automatically be cancelled if the FCDO advise against travelling to the destination, as well as if there are any quarantine restrictions on arrival.

Any changes to your holiday can be done up to 28 days before travelling with a full refund and your deposit back as credit.

Opt for package holidays instead

Instead of booking your flights and hotels separately next year, you will get much more protection if you book a package holiday.

Many tour operators have ATOL protection which will protect your money if your holiday is cancelled or cannot go ahead.

Flexible cancellation policies are also being included with tour operators, such as TUI, Jet2 and BA.

Check the current travel restrictions

Before choosing a holiday destination, it is worth checking the current guidelines.

Some countries require you to have a negative Covid test or health declaration form before you arrive, or may require you to quarantine on arrival.

The UK also has its own rules, with some destinations requiring a two-week quarantine when back in England.

Travel restrictions can change at short notice, but checking them beforehand can make sure you are aware of what is expected of you.

Be prepared for last minute-changes

While you may book a trip with no rules or restrictions, this could change at the last minute.

You should expect your holiday plans to change last minute, so be ready to be flexible.

Tour operators are offering customers to move their holiday dates or even get credit for a completely different holiday.

If you aren't tied to one destination, you could opt for a different holiday at the last minute.

Spain is hoping to welcome Brits back from March 2021 with no travel restrictions – the country currently enforces mandatory coronavirus tests before arriving.

Here is how to get 54 days of annual leave next year, using just 24 days.

However, soaring demand means you may be faced with pricier holidays with less choice in 2021.

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