Whilst we wait on Australia to become fully vaccinated against Covid-19, we must consider the virus and its’ effects when booking travel in 2021. We have highlighted five steps that will put your mind at ease when booking and ensure you have the best holiday possible.
1. PLAN AHEAD
With a lot of pent-up demand and limited supply for domestic travel, the secret is planning ahead. After numerous lockdowns during the last twelve months, Australians are longing for a holiday to escape and recover. This demand is putting pressure on already limited availability across resorts and hotels. The tourism industry has relied on the international backpackers to staff their departments in the past. With international travellers currently locked out of the country, we are seeing many of the resorts operating at 60-80% capacity to maintain service levels with less staff.
If you haven’t already, it is best to plan and book your Christmas holidays and Easter 2022 holidays now. Planning all starts with a little bit of inspiration, so why not make a night of it? Treat yourself to your favourite dinner and sit down with our latest Virtuoso Life magazine to inspire.
2. FLEXIBLE BOOKING POLICIES
The last year has shown us that change can happen quickly and that we are adaptable. Flight, accommodation and tour booking policies need to reflect this too. When booking, look for suppliers that will provide you with flexibility to cancel or change close to departure. If they have a stricter policy within 14-30 days of travel, ask if they have a Covid-19 policy relating to border restrictions, etc. At Travel Associates, over 90% of our holidays have flexible booking options as part of our Peace of Mind Promise.
3. TRAVEL INSURANCE
Travel insurance is the perfect cover for those events you don’t see happening to you. While Covid-19 is a foreseen risk to any travel, there are options for cover under insurance. If you are deemed a close contact by Health Authorities and are required to quarantine, or contract Covid-19 while travelling, benefits are in place. This is on the assumption that you have done your best to mitigate the risk of course; avoid those hotspots. Travel insurance is based on the individual and this is only general advice.
It is worth noting that state border closures are unfortunately excluded from the cover, and this is where supplier cancellation fees need to be looked at closely with the help of your travel advisor.
4. STAY UP TO DATE
The Covid-19 situation in Australia can change quite rapidly and conditions of travel can follow suit. It is for this reason, that it is best to stay up to date with the latest restrictions and hotspots. Each state has a dedicated page to travel and border pass requirements, that are updated on the daily. It is recommended to follow these pages in the lead up to your trip.
While it can be heartbreaking for one to have to rearrange their travel to new dates, it does mean that someone else has the opportunity for a last-minute treat. So if there has been a recent closure to a state, it is likely that availability will open from those cancellations.
5. USE A TRAVEL ADVISOR
When booking a holiday, it takes planning, research, coordination and the finer details – that's if you know where to look in the first place? Ignore the myth that travel advisors cost more. Holidays are an investment that has one chance to impress; so it’s best to use an expert to manage the investment. Travel Associaets advisors have been working in the travel industry for years and have built many strong industry relationships, to work for you. In addition to recommending the best of the best, Travel Associates advisors can keep you up to date with the latest and take care of any changes if they arise unexpectedly. We also manage any problems, often before you even know they exist.
With these tips to keep handy, you are ready to start planning your next holiday with your advisor and ensuring it is a smooth process from the beginning.