We’re all desperate to book a train holiday this year. But how can we book and be certain it will ever happen? Read our handy five-point guide and learn how you can Covid-proof your train holiday in 2021.
1. Use a specialist travel agent
In these uncertain times, it pays to use a specialist travel agent. Not only can they put together the trip of your dreams, they will keep a daily expert eye out for any changes to your itinerary that may occur because of Covid restrictions.
According to the Package Travel Regulations, the onus is on the travel agent to deliver the holiday you’ve booked a sold. This means that if any part of your holiday is cancelled, the operator should give you the option for a full refund. They will also offer you the chance to defer your holiday or switch to an alternative destination. Most reputable travel operators will allow you to change or defer your booking if travel restrictions occur in the country you are departing or visiting. This also applies if you can’t travel because you have been told to self-isolate. It’s vital that you get this in writing with the company you are booking with, before you travel.
2. Get a Covid vaccination
There is no common worldwide consensus yet on whether passengers entering a country will need to show proof of their Covid vaccine but this is looking likely. At the moment the British government is reluctant to issue vaccination ‘passports’ but this could change. The good news is that the Oxford-AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Moderna vaccines will be accepted around the world if the ‘passport’ does happen. A jab of course will also go a long way to protecting you from getting Covid.
3. Book a rail holiday for summer or late 2021
There’s still an enormous amount of uncertainty around travelling in these Covid-hit times. So if you’ve got your heart set on taking a train holiday, it might be better to book a trip for summer or late 2021. Hopefully by then, most of us will have been vaccinated and Covid will have died down. It’s also worth seeing if you can take a longer trip too to enjoy some of the world’s most popular train journeys.
4. Stay home and enjoy the UK’s best rail journeys
If the uncertainty of travelling around the world by train this year is too much for you, it might be better to book a couple of rail holidays nearer home. Not only will you dodge all the hassle of other countries’ regulations, you will also get to enjoy some of our island’s finest railway lines. These include the Jacobite Steam train, the Settle to Carlisle railway and the Night Riviera Train. Want a day trip to remember? We can recommend journeys on the Bluebell Railway, North York Moors Railway, Ffestiniog Railway and West Somerset Railway.
5. Update your holiday insurance
Before you book your holiday, check that your insurer will cover Covid-19 cancellation cover if you test positive before you depart and have to self-isolate. Many insurers now include coronavirus medical cover and coronavirus cancellation cover in their policies. But if you have an old policy, you may need to update it. One enterprising insurance company has added a clause to their policies that will offer policy holders free accommodation aboard if they fail a mandatory pre-departure coronavirus test. Holidaysafe is now offering customers the chance to add this feature to new or existing policies.
Many of the leading rail travel agents also offer holiday insurance with their packages. So it’s also worth talking to your agent when you book.