In any normal January, as we shiver in the gloom, the holiday companies rightly prosper as they seduce us with prospect of summer days on exotic beaches and nights in exciting cities.
Travel anticipation always trumps apprehension. Except this winter: 2020 was such a shocking year that many people may prefer to sit out 2021 rather than run the gauntlet of risks that now reside in every corner of travel.
For those contemplating an adventure, though, I believe that confidence will be rewarded with rich, much-deserved experiences. These are the five tests the traveller must pass before breaking free of the emotional lockdown with which 2021 has begun – and venturing in search of uplands (preferably sunlit).
Are you happy to commit financially?
Millions of frustrated travellers had their plans cancelled last year, and a good few of them are still battling to get their money back. It is not unreasonable to expect you should receive either the holiday you booked or a full refund. Improve the odds in your favour by booking a proper package holiday through a human travel agent. Many of those still out of pocket, coronavirus having killed off their travel plans, used online travel agents and/or decided to put together a DIY holiday.
Are you prepared for the rules that the destination country is imposing?
Holidaymakers should tolerate swift and reasonably cheap tests at the airport; it will become just another tedious element of the whole experience, like aviation security.
I predict the current requirements for testing before departure and/or upon arrival will dwindle. Vaccination should steadily reduce the rate of infection, hospitalisation and deaths.