With travel restrictions in almost every destination in the world, and many people not even allowed to leave their homes, thinking about a vacation can seem pointless. However, at the moment, we all need something to look forward to, to dream about and to plan for. Booking travel for the future can seem daunting at the moment with airline routes unknown and the threat of airlines not surviving the crisis. Luckily there are many ways you can book travel to secure a great deal and give maximum flexibility. Travel until the end of the year looks dubious, but with companies usually accepting reservations up to a year ahead, there is plenty of scope to research travel for 2021.
The first option is to use airline miles and hotel points. These are usually fully refundable until very close to departure. With travel almost non-existent, there has never been better availability for many routes, so why not take a look and see if that bucket list destination is finally available. There are a number of ways to find airline availability more quickly than using the airline’s tools. These include Expert Flyer, SeatSpy, and Reward Flight Finder.
You can also make use of the travel flexibility offers from airlines and hotels. Many hotel rooms that would typically be non-refundable or not allow changes are now fully flexible. With low occupancy, a multitude of hotels are offering great rates for stays into 2021. These flexible offers will enable you to book a room with no deposit and allow cancellation until the last minute, often up to 24 hours beforehand.
Another way to book a holiday with minimal risk is to find a package holiday with a low deposit and a flexibility policy. You can often turn an expensive flight into a much cheaper purchase by adding in a hotel for just one night of your trip. For example, British Airways offer deposits from only $225 or £150 per person. Until your balance is due three to six weeks before, the deposit is all you would lose if you chose to cancel. In addition, their current “Travel with Confidence” policy also allows you to change your holiday dates for free if you book by May 31, 2020, with a departure date up to December 31, 2020.
Hotels and travel companies are now getting smarter about helping customers navigate through the uncertainty. Several companies are now offering a “book now, decide later” policy. This is a fantastic way to support travel businesses but without committing to specific travel dates. It also means you can lock in a cheap deal but don’t need to worry about the hassle of having to cancel or change it at a later date. You do have to pay upfront which is one drawback, so paying by credit card can give additional protection should the company get into difficulty later on.
When booking travel in the current situation, you must check all the terms and conditions. The majority of companies have altered their usual booking policies, so you should check under their COVID-19 section to check for any changes before you decide to book anything.