Advice on planning travel around Covid-19 in 2021
Let us start with the good news! Travel is back, and across many of the popular destinations where we operate our range of independent adventures, people are having wonderful experiences, making memories, and enjoying a well deserved (and truly refreshing) break.
"The walks were just challenging enough and the scenery was absolutely stunning. So peaceful and relaxing - on some days we only encountered sheep until we hit a town. Our children are teenagers and it was nice to get them away from their screens and connecting with us and even each other!"
- Elizabeth, Walking the Cotswolds
"This trip offered a great diversity of experiences: mountain vistas, village tavernas under shady plane trees, and uncrowded Aegean beaches. The accommodations were consistently clean and comfortable and the hosts welcoming."
- Edward, Walking in Greece
We understand that it can be hard to plan just now. Firstly, since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, restrictions to control the spread of coronavirus have meant that for a long time travel was impossible, and any plans had to be postponed. We are all a bit out of practice when it comes to planning! And now that travel has resumed, everything feels like it has changed! Plus of course, it can be a worrying time. Feeling safe (and keeping others safe) is very important.
With rules and restrictions very different from country to country, we hope this information will help...
A 2021 #macsmoment entry on the West Highland Way (thank you Annie)
Travel abroad? Look for the latest official advice
For many destinations now, travel overseas is permitted if you are fully vaccinated and/or prepared to show PCR test results. When you are researching a destination, check what travel rules will apply to you. It might change, but most government sources do offer a suggestion of when any restrictions might be reviewed.
News websites and travel websites often have great easy-to-read advice, but always head to the official sources to make your final decisions. This includes gov.uk if you are in England, the Scottish government if you are in Scotland, nidirect.gov.uk for Northern Ireland, and gov.wales if you are based in Wales. US Embassies and CDC are excellent resources if you are in the USA.
You can now browse our walking and cycling tours and see a "Travel restrictions and resources" link on every trip detail webpage, this will link to a form which lets you source information which applies to your location, destination, and vaccination status:
Look for this button on each of our holiday details web pages.
We also summarise as much information as we can about where you can travel, and what to expect on your trip, on our website here.
Domestic travel within your home country has been so popular over the past year, and the sentiment of "I wish I'd done this sooner" is a common one! There are so many wonderful (local) places to get to know.
There may be some modifications, even within your own country, with things like physical distancing, wearing face coverings, or the requirement to book things like trains or meals ahead of time. Just bear in mind this is all for your safety and for the safety and reassurance of others around you (such as anyone serving you in a bar or cafe, or driving your taxi). With a little mindful preparation and awareness of the latest rules, you won't even notice, and will still have a great time!
Continue to plan ahead
It is tempting to wait until the last minute to book your travel plans, but that can result in disappointment! The trend for domestic travel in the UK means that (as of summer 2021) popular itineraries like the West Highland Way are already unavailable for select dates in 2022 (see some last minute availability here)! And as soon as any announcement on European or worldwide travel is announced, there is a rush to book. Please do remember this, and plan as far in advance as you can, even for the year ahead. Getting those dates secured gives you a focus point and (finally!) something to look forward to.
With that in mind...
Book with flexibility, for peace of mind
Things have settled down a lot, but admittedly, it looks unlikely that certainty is going to be a luxury we can enjoy again any time in the near future! Plan ahead, as far in advance as you can, but check your travel operator will be offering flexible changes.
With Macs Adventure, we offer a Peace of Mind Guarantee allowing free changes for any reason up to 4 weeks prior to travel, and free changes or cancellation due to Covid-19 at any time (for example if you were to test positive and have to isolate, or if government regulations changed and you couldn't travel).
If you are booking any other travel with other companies (flights, train travel and such), check the flexibility policies. You will find that most travel operators are now offering change or cancellation policies. Sometimes it might cost a little extra, but could be worth it for peace of mind.
Lastly, get travel insurance as early as you can in your planning process, and check all the terms there too.
Sometimes a little change in mindset is needed, and pre-planning is key, but travel is still a reviving and relaxing experience and it is a joy to read reviews and stories roll in as travellers once again enjoy fantastic experiences. Stay safe, plan ahead, and enjoy!
You can browse walking, cycling, and independent adventures on our website, and for a limited time we have some last minute availability in the UK.