Holidays: Travel expert issues cheap holiday warning and urges Britons to avoid DIY breaks

Holidays: Simon Calder gives 2021 travel advice

Holidays are hopefully going to return at some point this year but there’s still much uncertainty swirling. What’s the best way to go about booking a trip in 2021? Expert Simon Calder shared his travel advice with ITV viewers today on This Morning.

“It’s really, really important that people have something to look forward to,” he said.

“But once we do get started it’s so important to consider how you’re going to book.”

He urged travellers to “to talk to a real human travel agent”, most likely on the phone, and to “book a proper package holiday.”

“Because then you know you’re getting that trip that you absolutely need and deserve,” he said.

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However, he cautioned that prices are set to rise, and, indeed, already have.

“TUI, the biggest holiday company, has already said that they’re selling prices for 2021 which are one-seventh higher than they were in 2019, the last proper year,” Calder explained.

Furthermore, there may simply be fewer holidays in 2021.

“There might not be something from your local airport that you would ideally like to see, and you’re probably going to be paying a bit more,” he cautioned.

Fortunately, there are cheap flight deals still going – but it’s vital to exercise caution as your airline might not offer the protection you require.

“There are some extraordinary deals out there… I’m seeing that particularly if you’re prepared to take a chance for early March, you can go to Greece for £15 on a well-known, low-cost airline,” said Calder.

“But of course, if things go a bit wrong. Some airlines are going to say,’ Well, the fact that you are still being locked down, you’re not allowed to travel isn’t our problem – the flight’s still going so your seat’s there’.

“Either you just lose [the flight], or you’re going to have to, quite possibly, pay extra to change it.”

Consequently, Calder warns against booking a “DIY” holiday – when you book flights, hotels and other elements separately.

“If you’re thinking of doing a DIY holiday, which sometimes has some merits, and lots of people have been doing it, of course, I would hold off for a while,” he said.

“If you want to commit to something, make it a proper package.”

Calder added that people might not necessarily be getting their money’s worth this year.

“Some of the deals I’ve been seeing makes it look as though you’d be paying kind of mid-market prices for bargain-basement holiday,s so hopefully people will be able to kind of scrape enough to pay for the deposit for a trip,” he cautioned.

“You’re not going to find too many bargains in the May holiday season which of course is when the travel industry hopes it’s going to start properly in April for Easter, and then carry on May half term and then to the main summer months.”

Holidaymakers should be aware they will probably have to take a coronavirus test before travel, depending on the rules in their destination.

They are also likely going to have to soon prove they have tested negative before they can enter the UK in a bid to limit the spread of covid.

“No agreement on that yet but another thing to bear in mind,” said Calder, concluding: “It’s an incredibly complicated business being a traveller.”

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