This week’s statement by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps that ‘people shouldn’t be booking holidays right now’ has been slammed by the travel industry. And quite right too.
Travel company bosses have roundly criticised him for failing to point out that package holidays — involving flights and accommodation booked together — are protected against cancellation by the Package Travel Regulations. If your trip is cancelled, you get a refund in 14 days.
But on top of this, individual companies — recognising the snakes-and-ladders nature of Government travel policies — are offering more flexible terms than ever, Just about every respected travel provider now makes these clear on their websites. Flexible policies often allow customers to change trips even if they are simply nervous about going. Here is what leading travel firms are offering.
MAKE IT A BREAK IN MAJORCA: TUI
Tui is offering a week’s self-catering at the TUI Blue Alcudia Pins hotel in Majorca in July from £638. Pictured is the bay of Pollensa on Majorca’s north coast
On a pretty beach and with a big pool surrounded by palm trees, TUI Blue Alcudia Pins hotel on the north coast of Majorca is just the ticket. Rooms are smartly decorated, kids’ clubs are included and there’s a ‘splash pool’ with slides.
HOW FLEXIBLE? Fee-free holiday changes up to 28 days before departure for trips up to October 31.
HOW MUCH? A week’s self-catering from £638 from Luton in July (tui.co.uk).
MALDIVIAN DREAM: TRAILFINDERS
Stay at the LUX* South Ari Atoll resort and villas and go snorkelling each day on the coral reef or relax on the white-sand beaches. There’s an over-water spa so you can watch fish swimming by while having a massage.
HOW FLEXIBLE? Trailfinders has no fee for amendments to travel between March 26 and June 30. If the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) is advising against travel, it allows you to get a full refund immediately or change to new dates or destination.
HOW MUCH? A week’s B&B from £1,499pp with London flights and transfers this summer (trailfinders.com).
CHEAP IN GREECE: EASYJET HOLIDAYS
With easyJet Holidays, you can book a week’s B&B at the Star Hotel close to the beach in Tigaki, pictured, on the Greek island of Kos for £391 in August
Stay at the charming Tigaki’s Star Hotel on Kos, close to the beach, and enjoy a relaxing getaway with tavernas round the corner. There are plenty of historical sights to visit, too.
HOW FLEXIBLE? EasyJet Holidays offers full refunds if you decide not to travel up to 28 days before departure.
HOW MUCH? A week’s B&B from £391 in August with Manchester flights (easyjet.com).
LUXURY ST LUCIA: DIAL-A-FLIGHT
The Piton mountains in St Lucia. Dial-a-Flight is offering a week’s all-inclusive at the Rendezvous hotel on the Caribbean island for £1,565pp from mid-May to mid-July
Windsurfing, kayaking and sailing are among the activities included at the Rendezvous adults-only hotel in St Lucia. It is next to a two-mile beach.
HOW FLEXIBLE? ‘If you book a package and within 14 days of departure there is government advice against travel or a quarantine, you can rebook or have a complete refund,’ says Dial-a-Flight.
HOW MUCH? A week’s all-inclusive trip from £1,565pp mid-May to mid-July with London flights (dialaflight.com).
CHARMING CROATIA: BA HOLIDAYS
Pretty and peaceful: Cavtat in Croatia, where a fortnight’s B&B at Hotel Croatia Cavtat is from £1,372pp with British Airways Holidays
Enjoy the tranquillity of the bay at Cavtat in the south of Croatia.
HOW FLEXIBLE? BA Holidays allows customers to change bookings for free or cancel for a credit voucher up to 21 days before departure for travel before April 20, 2022.
HOW MUCH? Fortnight’s B&B at Hotel Croatia Cavtat from £1,372pp (britishairways.com).
AHOY NORWAY: FRED OLSEN CRUISES
Sail from Liverpool to the Norwegian fjords for an eight-night adventure aboard the Borealis small ship, with a chance to see glaciers and waterfalls.
HOW FLEXIBLE? Fred Olsen’s policy allows customers to amend bookings fee-free 90 days before travel or get a full refund.
HOW MUCH? Eight nights’ full board from £1,299pp (fredolsencruises.com).
DOWN THE DANUBE: TITAN TRAVEL
Titan Travel is offering an eight-day cruise along the Danube with full board from £1,699pp in August. Pictured is the Danube flowing through Budapest
Float along the River Danube from Budapest in Hungary to Vienna in Austria on an eight-day cruise that includes tours in both cities.
HOW FLEXIBLE? Titan Travel has introduced a lower ‘flexi-deposit’ of £49pp, and amendments can be made to destination and dates fee-free 75 days before departure.
HOW MUCH? Full board from £1,699pp and Heathrow flights in August (titantravel.co.uk).
TURKISH SUNSHINE: VINTAGE TRAVEL
Stay in a smart villa with a pool overlooking the sea in Kalkan. There are labyrinthine lanes to explore, plus a beach near the harbour.
HOW FLEXIBLE? Postpone or opt for a refund within 14 days of travel if the FCDO advises against non-essential visits, the borders are closed or you need to quarantine on arrival.
HOW MUCH? From £1,148 per week for a two-bed villa in summer (vintagetravel.co.uk).