If you choose to travel in these uncertain times, you should be prepared to deal with everything that stems from this uncertainty.
The ongoing pandemic has changed the way we travel (if we travel at all) and the way we’re booking our vacations.
What you should pay attention to if you book it now and what changes there are in the conditions and practices of travel agencies – before choosing a holiday for the 10 days off around the May holidays or booking a holiday at the seaside. See useful tips from the experts of the tourism portal NasamNatam.com.
There are no uniform rules
The most important thing you need to know is that there are no uniform rules that apply to all tour operators. When you choose an offer, read carefully what the specific conditions are when canceling the trip. Check that the cancellation terms described in the offer are also present in the travel contract you will sign.
Your destination may be closed – what to expect in such a case?
We are still living through a pandemic, and at any moment the country you have chosen to travel to may close its borders. In this case, it is good to be prepared psychologically that there will be confusion and delay. Often tour operators cannot react immediately for reasons beyond their control (for example, when they have to wait for a formal decision of the authorities).
Only some of the trips have a maximum security insurance
If you want to travel but do not like to take a financial risk, choose only trips with maximum security insurance. It usually covers all the risks related to the coronavirus, including if your travel companion gets sick and you need to stay to take care. This type of insurance guarantees a refund within a certain period (usually 10-14 days) of all money you had paid
Refund may come with delay
If your contract does not have specific clauses for cancelling the trip for reasons stemming from the pandemic, you can expect some delay in refund. To book your plane ticket and hotel, tour operators transfer money to the respective hotels and airlines – that is, they need to get that money back to return it to you. This does not always happen easily and quickly, especially under the current circumstances.
You may receive a voucher for a future trip instead of money
In many cases, the tour operator will offer you a voucher for a future trip instead of a refund.
The advantage of vouchers is that they are valid for a long period and can be used at any time, i.e. if the destination is closed, customers can get a voucher and, when the destination restrictions are lifted, leave immediately.
In addition, this voucher may be sold within the expiry period or presented as a gift, of course, the tour operator concerned must be informed.
As unlikely as it may sound, some destinations are already booked for months to come
If you want to go to a specific place, save seats now. Tourists all over the world are so much eager to travel and so hopeful tourism will be possible this summer that many of the destinations turn out to be almost entirely booked, however amazing it may sound.
This is the case, for example, with Russia, for where many tourists have unused vouchers for cancelled trips from 2020, as well as hotels in some areas in France such as Normandy and Provence which are booked almost 100% by the end of the summer.
If you leave the reservation for the last minute, it may happen that only hotels that are expensive, far away from the center or for other reasons unsuitable for you may remain available.
Some package prices include a PCR test or a discount for such a test
Trips to destinations that require a PCR test come out more expensive, and for the moment the presentation of a negative PCR test is mandatory on return to Bulgaria. Some offers for holidays abroad have a PCR test included in the price or provide a discount code for such a test. In this case you should also read carefully, as sometimes this bonus goes with a condition – for example, “free PCR test when booking until April 20, 2021”.
Do not rush to refuse vouchers from airlines
If you have booked a plane ticket and your flight has been cancelled, many airlines offer you a choice – to refund you or provide you with a voucher for future trips. Do not rush to refuse the voucher, as under the current situation it has its benefits. Because of the huge sums that airlines have to pay back to customers for cancelled flights, refunds are now often delayed for weeks. On the other hand, if you choose a voucher you can use it at any time for a new booking.