So, you want to go on holiday? Read our travel advice first before booking.

Posted on 15 Apr 2021 Posted in  Travel, Tips & Updates
travel advice

With the vaccine scheme well underway, an overall picture of where and when international travel will resume is becoming much clearer.

Remember that travelling abroad is still currently banned, with a penalty fine (in England) of £5,000 for anyone travelling outside the UK without a reasonable excuse. Furthermore, quarantine remains enforceable for those returning to the country.

If you are itching for a getaway, read up on the latest information we have collated below, and we also recommend checking the government website here before booking too.

Holidaying in the UK

In England, people are now free to travel wherever they want within the borders and can now also holiday in Wales.

In terms of who to holiday with, if you want to book something before the next milestone (17th May) you can only go away with people you live with or in your bubble i.e: no mixed houses should be meeting up. After the 17th May you’ll still have to obey the stage three social mixing rules, which are that a maximum of six people or two households can stay together indoors. Hotels and B&Bs won’t be re-opening their doors until 17th May at the earliest, so if you’re looking to book something before then, you’ll need to opt for self-contained accommodation instead.

In Wales, people are now free to travel wherever they want within their borders too. Similarly, you can go away with people in your household or support bubble. Both self-contained accommodation and hotels are open for business.

In Scotland, from 16th April you can meet up with family and friends outside but meeting indoors and overnight stays aren’t yet permitted. Travel in and out of Scotland isn’t yet allowed either, the next date that may change is the 26th of April. As the time of writing, it’s expected (but not guaranteed) that a travel ban between Scotland and other parts of the UK should be lifted on this date.

Domestic travel rules for Northern Ireland has not yet been announced, so you’ll need to keep checking for any updates.

Holidaying abroad

The 17th May is still the earliest date that residents of England may be able to holiday abroad from, however this remains contingent on the roadmap working according to plan between now and the 16th of May. Anyone looking to book a holiday close to the next stage out of lockdown should be fully aware that this may not happen, and there may still be quarantine rules in place.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has recently announced that residents of England (note, this differs to people living in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland) can start thinking about holidays abroad, thanks to a new measure the government are looking to implement.

The traffic light system will place countries abroad into one of three categories – as you’d imagine, green, amber and red. Each come with rules for travel based on vaccinations, infection rates, how common Covid variants of concern are and finally, testing, and sequencing capacity.

Green countries: Passengers will not need to quarantine on return, but must take a pre-departure test, as well as a PCR test on return to the UK.
Amber countries: Travellers will need to quarantine for 10 days, as well as taking a pre-departure test and two PCR tests.
Red countries: Passengers will have to pay for a 10-day stay in a managed quarantine hotel, as well as a pre-departure test and two PCR tests.

We do not yet know which countries will be placed in which category – this list is expected early May (apart from roughly 40 countries are on the current "red list" as of writing on the 14th of April). According to the government there will also be a green watchlist so that travellers will be given notice if a country is about to move to amber, or red.

A PCR test is expected to cost around £120 per person too. So - if you do book a holiday abroad, remember to factor this into your overall budget.

Rules for holidaying abroad if you’re travelling from Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are yet to be announced.

Checks to do and other considerations

Although prices may increase as the months roll on, don’t be tempted to book a cheap getaway purely based on the hope that it will go ahead.

Always double check the terms and conditions before you book. Some holiday providers may only require a small deposit up front but could also entail a high cancellation charge if you cannot or decide not to go ahead. Within the fine print, also check the airlines or provider’s cancellation policy. If for whatever reason the trip can’t go ahead, you may have the benefit of being able to postpone until a later date but that doesn’t mean one rule applies for all.

Remember to always book with an ATOL-protected company or agent and ensure that you pick the right travel insurance policy to go with it. To help protect your money, the policy should cover for financial failure and, of course, look into what the conditions are relevant to the Coronavirus.

Consider how you pay for your holiday too. Booking with a credit card will help protect your money - if your holiday falls through and the company or airline you have booked with refuses a refund, you can look to claim through your credit card company.

Bottom line, do your research before booking, and always remember that things can change. If your holiday can’t go ahead, it may be difficult or at least take some time to recoup all the costs you have paid out.

Fingers crossed; we will all get a much-needed break in the not-too-distant future though!

This information is correct as of the 14th of April 2021, we will try and keep this updated as new information comes to light.

marketme13 Mar 21 - 07:04 Thanks for the advice, that's as nice and clear as it can be at this stage. Fingers crossed!
Zeep2k17 Jul 20 - 20:33 Great straightforward advice, thanks x
HamishMurphy11 Jul 20 - 17:30 Please update your info on travel from Spain to Scotland. You will currently still need to quarantine if you come from Spain to Scotland.

We will get this to the team for review. Thanks for letting us know

Best wishes


Our team have mentioned to check your areas information on travel before travel and would suggest that members do follow any advice for the place they are arriving to.

Best wishes

TOOZE7408 Jul 20 - 17:20 Much needed, clear, impartial advice...... As much as I am desperate to swim in warm, clear blue waters we are heading to beautiful Cornwall, camping this Summer instead.
Wokingmike08 Jul 20 - 07:13 Good solid advice. We've decided drive to Spain for the first time on Saturday. Didn't fancy flying but 1250 miles is a long way!!
calvin and hobbes07 Jul 20 - 22:00 So what happened to the other comments????????????????????????????????


We do display other comments but do also check comments and review them so we can keep the blog comments a safe and happy place for our members to comment

If you do need any help with comments please reach out to us via email and we can also review these again.

Best wishes

Em_lloyds07 Jul 20 - 21:19 Think this is one of the most honest and simple to read information advise i've seen. Thankyou.
donkeys106 Jul 20 - 08:25 Very helpful info-thank you