The UK might still be in lockdown, but this hasn’t stopped thousands of hopeful holidaymakers from making bookings for summer getaways. At self-catering specialist cottages.com, summer bookings for holiday lets have soared by 60% compared to the same time last year.
Let’s look at why Brits simply can’t wait to get away this summer and why many are choosing holiday lets. We’ll also look at whether booking a holiday early is a good idea. And we’ll tell you how you can protect yourself in case of cancellations.
When will we be free to go on holiday?
As per the prime minister’s roadmap out of lockdown, we will be able to use self-contained holiday accommodation such as holiday cottages and campsites from 12 April 2021. This is as long as you travel with members of your own household only.
Other forms of holiday accommodation including hotels and B&Bs are expected to reopen from 17 May. International holiday travel will also be permitted from this date.
Keep in mind, however, that these dates are subject to change.
Summer bookings for holiday lets are up 60%
Since the announcement of the roadmap out of lockdown, people have been rushing to book summer getaways. Stats show that bookings for holiday lets are leading the charge.
For example, at cottages.com, peak summer bookings are up by 60% compared to this time last year. And they’re up by 71% compared to the same time in 2019.
This is not surprising. After spending months cooped up indoors, it’s safe to say that many of us simply can’t wait to get away and enjoy a much-needed break.
At the current rate, some holiday lets could completely sell out in the next few weeks.
The surge in bookings for summer getaways accompanies a similar spike in enquiries to invest in holiday lets.
Cottages.com has already witnessed a 35% increase in holiday let enquiries this year. Investors are clearly looking to take advantage of the stamp duty holiday extension. The research suggests that 70% of all new listings on the site are first-time holiday letters.
Should I book now?
While the government hopes to allow ‘staycactions’ from April, it all depends on the country meeting certain coronavirus data points. This includes continued success of the vaccine programme and reduced infection rates and hospital admissions.
So, while you can go ahead and book a summer getaway, just remember that there are risks attached.
You can protect yourself by booking your holiday or staycation as a package. A package holiday is ATOL-protected meaning that you’ll be entitled to a full remand if it cannot go ahead.
Also consider taking out travel insurance. Depending on the type of cover, travel insurance could help protect you from a wide range of setbacks before and during your trip, including cancellation.
As a final tip, when booking your holiday, it might be a good idea to pay using a credit card. If your holiday is cancelled and you can’t get a refund, you can make a chargeback claim or a claim under section 75.
In any case, always check the cancellation rules of any company before you make a booking.
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