SINCE lockdown was first announced back in March, it has been difficult to make travel arrangements.

The coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc on the travel industry, causing plans to be changed and flights to be cancelled.

Even now, England is still in lockdown and Brits are desperate to go on holiday and jet off to an exotic location for a while.

However, it’s not too late to start planning your dream trip for next year.

Here is everything you need to know about travelling abroad, including when it’s thought we can go on holiday.

You will also find expert advice from a Worcester travel agent who has some words of wisdom for travellers, as well as information about the most popular holiday destinations of 2021. 

When can I go on holiday?

Currently, the rules state: “From 5 November to 2 December 2020, travelling away from home, including internationally, is restricted from England except in limited circumstances such as for work or for education.”

Travelling to take a holiday can be punished by a fine, with penalties starting at £200 and going up to £6,400.

However, England's national lockdown will end on the 2nd December and a new tiered system will be put in place for winter.

Worcester has been placed in tier two and have been told to “avoid travel to or overnight stays in tier 3 areas”.

However, you can still travel abroad and you will be able to travel into Tier 3 areas to board a flight.

Where you can go is still subject to the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office travel advice for your destination and the travel corridors list.

Boris Johnson said the plan is to get the country back on the path of “normality” by Easter, thanks to the Covid-19 vaccination developments, which could mean that we could start booking holidays with confidence after this time.

However, as with everything during the pandemic these rules could change at any time and nothing is set in stone.

Where is Worcester’s nearest airport?

Worcester News: Birmingham International AirportBirmingham International Airport

(Photo: Geograph/ Richard Croft)

The nearest major airport to Worcester is Birmingham International Airport.

It is around 35 miles away and it will take around 40 minutes in order to get there.

This airport flies to over 150 destinations including long-haul getaways and closer European city destination.

There are plenty of ways to get to the airport, including via train and coach.

Where can I go on holiday?

Even when travel restrictions lift, some countries require you to quarantine for 14 days when you get there; you may also have to quarantine when you arrive back in the UK.

The government has posted a list of 'travel corridors', which currently includes countries such as Bahrain, Cuba, The Greek Islands and many more. 

You do not need to self-isolate if you’re travelling to England from one of the countries, territories or regions listed on this page. You also must have spent the last 14 days in one of these places, or in the UK

However, people arriving in England from ‘high risk’ areas will soon be able to reduce their quarantine time by more than half if they pay to have a Covid test.  

These rules come into force on 15 December.

You can view the restrictions and requirements of your specific holiday destination by visiting the website.

Jon Thorne, Traveller Expert at Skyscanner (metasearch engine and travel agency) said UK traveller have been “extremely reactive” to news around travel corridors and have “adapted their search and booking behaviour to be able to get away within the rules.”

He added that countries on the travel corridor list are subject to change, but booking a ‘flexible’ ticket with a provider could mean that you’re entitled to a free date or destination change if you should need it.

He added: "We've made this really easy by highlighting flexible tickets when searching on Skyscanner which helps you to save on your tickets and be protected should the situation in your origin or destination country change.” 

Which countries and territories shall I visit?

Sian Roberts is a travel counsellor from Fernhill Heath, Worcester.

She has more than thirty years of experience in the travel industry and has spent a lot of time helping people in and around Worcester to book their dream trip.

She told Worcester News: “Many of my customers in Worcestershire are craving something to look forward to.

“Large villa holidays in the USA and across the Mediterranean are proving popular, offering the space for families to finally spend some much-needed time together.

“When the USA is accessible again, which we hope will be early next year, I’m anticipating an influx of enquiries from customers eager to take to hop back across the pond.”

However, Sian also understands that some people will want to stay closer to home.

She believes that it is not too early to book your next trip, adding that European city breaks are predicted to be high on the agenda “as travellers seek to make up the memories they missed this year.”

Sian added: “I’m taking bookings for throughout 2021 to destinations across the globe, finding the most flexible options for my customers in the vent that they cannot travel.

“With changing travel advice and the events of the last few months, my customers have seen the real value of booking with a travel agent they can trust.”

If you want Sian to be in charge of your next big holiday, make sure to contact her via her Travel Counsellors page.

How can I book an affordable holiday?
(Prices and information correct at the time of writing)

If you want to book an affordable holiday, then consider using SkyScanner.

They have a handy tool which allows you to see which countries have travel restrictions in place.

Skyscanner’s Consumer Travel Expert, Jon Thorne, said you can sign up for price alerts and newsletters in order to get the cheapest flight price possible.

Right now, there are some great flights and deals from Birmingham International.

Using Skyscanner, we have been able to track down the cheapest flights and best deals of each month in 2021.

In January, you can fly to Latvia or Lithuania for as little as £26.

Poland is also an affordable price right now and flight prices start from £29.

In February, there are some great deals for those hoping to jet off to Ireland (£36) or Spain (£40).

March is one of the cheapest months to travel to Italy right now and flight prices start from £44.

If you want to head to Ireland for St Patrick’s day, then flight prices current stand at around £43 per person.

Worcester News: Temple BarTemple Bar

(Photo: Geograph/Jo Turner)

The UK government predict that April is the month when life will begin to return to normality.

Currently, the most affordable foreign destination to visit during this month is Lithuania (flight prices start from £27).

Flights to Portugal are also affordable this month and start from £52 per person.

Don’t forget that we have a May bank holiday (3 May) meaning you could have a long weekend somewhere exotic.

Flights to Romania start from £47 and flights to Spain start from £66 this month.

Looking ahead to summer, there are some affordable flight prices in July.

Germany is one of the cheapest places to visit this month and flights start from £64.

Ireland (from £36), Switzerland (from £75) and Malta (from £98) are also some of the most affordable flights on Sky Scanner this month.

Will you be travelling abroad next year? Let us know in the comments.