Holidays: Simon Calder gives advice on booking travel on GMB
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Many Britons are craving a change of scenery after being stuck in a third national lockdown since the beginning of January. While the exact date staycations will be given the green light is yet to be revealed, campsites are already seeing an uptick in inquiries and bookings.
According to James Warner Smith, an expert from booking platform CoolCamping, positive news about the vaccine has led to bookings tripling for this time of year compared with previous years.
“Even though there are no announcements yet about exactly what things are going to be like this summer there’s certainly a lot of confidence,” he told Express.co.uk.
“Based off of last year, there is confidence people will be able to go on holiday in some form, and right now with the news as it is regarding staying in hotels and you come back from going abroad and the general restrictions on travelling abroad I think it’s really, it’s really going to be a busy summer.”
Though the popular areas, such as coastal sites and unique glamping locations are certain to be busy, Mr Warner also believes quieter sites will see a huge number of visitors.
“I think it’s gonna be similar to last year. Perhaps even busier again because there’s so much more time for people to kind of get booked in this year,” he said.
With this in mind, he urges Britons to book “as early as if possible for them.”
This is particularly true for hopeful holidaymakers who have their hearts set on a specific destination or accommodation type.
“In terms of the number of searches on our website the most popular accommodation is a treehouse by a long way,” said Mr Warner.
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“Particularly in terms of the number of people searching for tree houses, compared to how many there are out there.
“The thing with tree houses, to be honest, is that there are fewer tree houses right now and we’re already starting to see some places fully booked through the summer.
“There are some great ones on our website but for summer weekends and stuff some are already booked up because they are so in demand.”
Glamping, including yurts and luxury tents, are also consistently seeing traffic on the CoolCamping website.
“It’s been the most visited page on our website for months, along with our hot tub page,” he continued.
“So people are really looking for those kinds of extra touches and, in a way, I think that’s kind of indicative of the fact that people are maybe replacing a holiday they might have ordinarily taken abroad, and they’re staying here in the UK and they’re just more willing to spend a bit more money.”
Mr Warner advised: “The main thing is to kind of get the get the date in the calendar really and if there’s if there’s a cancellation policy that offers a decent amount of flexibility, then I’d recommend people to kind of, you know, try and try and book as early as, is as work for them as possible for them because you know there’s a risk of things selling out for sure.”
Cancellation policies are absolutely vital, particularly with the uncertainty surrounding lockdown and future restrictions.
“If you don’t feel that cancellation policy is very clear, then I’d always advise people to contact the campsite or the booking agent and get some kind of clarification before you go ahead and book,” said Mr Warner.
“If you feel like you know there is clarity on what the situation would be if you’re affected by lockdowns or coronavirus, then I think it is certainly worth getting things in the calendar now because the top areas will be fully booked for summer for sure.”
He concluded: “People are really looking into summer and I think a lot of it is this concern that everyone’s doing the same thing.
“People are worried that they are going to miss out, particularly when it comes to the most popular locations.”
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