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Summer 2021 – Should you Book or Wait?

Do you remember the excitement of booking your next holiday and the anticipation as it drew nearer? The good news is holiday planning is possible again, provided you do your homework. 

As lockdown rules are slowly being lifted many people are asking whether it’s safe to book a summer holiday, either abroad or at home. 

We’ve endured the pandemic for nearly 18 months now, and no travel or holidays has become a frustrating norm. But can you wait any longer before you take a much needed break with your partner or family? And is it safe to book a trip or wait?

Let’s explore your travel options and the dos and don´ts of booking a holiday for summer 2021.

Where can you go in summer 2021?

At the moment there are 9 countries in Belgium’s green list from 09 June. This list is updated every Sunday and is valid from Monday. The list is based on data and criteria released each Thursday by the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).

The green list is part of the traffic light system introduced by the government to indicate which countries you’re allowed to travel to. The list also contains amber and red countries. Upon your return, if you’ve travelled to a country on the amber list you must quarantine for 7 days and if you’ve visited a red country you must quarantine for 7 days and get tested on day 1 and day 7 of your quarantine.

The good news is if a country appears on the green list it means you don’t have to quarantine when you return to Belgium. And to minimise your risk the list suggests which countries may return to amber from green.

The important thing is to check the country you want to visit’s entry requirements as you still may not be allowed in. If you’re planning to book a summer 2021 holiday you should keep an eye on this list as it’s updated. Here’s a useful link to check the latest situation: Belgium Green List

From 09 June 2021,  you can travel to countries such as Malta, Iceland, Australia or Singapore, but not France or Spain. So if you’re looking for a getaway with the kids with plenty of sun, sea and sand then Malta’s could be your safest bet. Malta has also stated it’s likely to return to restriction-free travel soon, making this a good reason to take a holiday to Malta this summer.

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What are the risks of booking a summer 2021 trip now?

There’s nothing to stop you booking a holiday from Belgium to one of the green list countries, but you should be cautious and be aware of the potential risks. These are the things to consider when booking a summer 2021 trip:

– look for flexible booking policies that offer refunds or credit if your trip is cancelled, whether you book a package holiday, a hotel or an Airbnb

– read the small print when booking flights – many operators now offer no charge flight changes

– check the current quarantine and social distancing rules in the country you want to visit (you may find yourself sunbathing in a mask!)

– are your travel plans flexible? – some companies are offering vouchers to alternative destinations if restrictions change 

– will you need proof you’ve been vaccinated for the country you’re visiting?

– will everyone in your party have been vaccinated?

Of course, you might prefer a staycation in Belgium. Boasting a varied landscape, which incorporates tranquil countryside, coastal resorts and cosmopolitan cities, Belgium has long been a popular tourist destination and thus can be just as appealing as travelling abroad. And let’s face it, sometimes the kids don’t care where they are! Why not consider hiring a car and visiting those places in Belgium that you’ve never got around to seeing?

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Will there be good deals for summer 2021 holidays?

In general prices seem to be rising, as travel companies seek to recoup the money they’ve lost over the last 18 months.

But don´t despair, there are travel bargains out there for you to enjoy a summer holiday with the kids or a romantic getaway with your other half. The secret is to do your research and consider new things. 

Perhaps you’ve never fancied a package holiday – now might be the time to try one if you’re searching for cheap deals. Or what about considering an Airbnb for a family holiday or a getaway with your partner? If you want a flexible holiday renting your own accommodation and a car could be the perfect solution.

Booking a holiday is nothing like it used to be, but with careful planning and understanding of the requirements, you should be able to enjoy a well-earned break with family or friends. 

To efficiently plan your holiday, remember to regularly take a look at the news related to Covid on the official coronavirus news site to follow the progress of the lifting of health measures.

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