“Travel makes one modest, you see what a tiny place you occupy in the world” Flaubert

It’s true that there is a need to continue to heavily control the movement in and out of this country. Our valiant and effective efforts at a vaccination rollout that has put most other countries to shame must not be wasted. I don’t believe that anyone is arguing with that and certainly not me.

However, it’s also true that after last summer’s shambles of an international travel system we all believed that there was no way the waters could be quite as murky a year on. My thoughts?

  • There’s still time. It’s blatantly obvious that 17th May was not the “return to international travel” that had been hoped for, while we have seen all the other relaxations of rules come to fruition. However, the main summer season – the season during which many of you have a holiday booked – is still a couple of months away and there is some movement for change.
  • Amber is our problem. The words coming out of the mouths of the MPs and PM this week have not truly reflected the original message of Amber being just a step down from Green. They have moved Amber to a whole staircase down from Green! However, this doesn’t change the fact that it is NOT illegal to travel to Amber countries, and if you are able to quarantine for 5 days before testing to release, you can take your holiday. The Amber List is all about your own choice.
  • The FCO advice is the one you need to look at if you are looking to go away, and check the rating on this with your travel insurance company. Where there’s a will there’s a way and there are some travel insurance providers that will now provide you with cover to FCDO ‘Non-Essential Travel’ destinations. Again, it’s all about your own choice.
  • The most reliable and trustworthy travel suppliers are providing options to you if you have a ‘package’ holiday (flights & accommodation) booked to an Amber destination. Do bear in mind that the vast majority of the time is done on goodwill and the travel companies are continuing to cope with the demands put upon them during these impossible times. They are not required necessarily to refund you, or even amend your holiday, if the flight is still flying and the hotel is open. But so many are, bless them.

My true sadness is that I fear the powers that be are instilling that little niggle of doubt in all our heads about travel and holidays. I just beg you not to fall into this trap. I put a post out recently including a quote about which I feel strongly…  Flaubert said “Travel makes one modest, you see what a tiny place you occupy in the world”. We have become so aware of and comfortable in our own tiny place that we forget we really are only one miniscule part of the enormous puzzle that is the world. What is one jigsaw piece without the other 999 pieces in the box? There’s still so much out there and we will see it all again. We can even book it now so we’re all set and ready for that moment. And if we do book it now, those reliable and trustworthy suppliers will continue their goodwill and understand if we have another Covid curve ball.

Let’s just not let these murky waters, mixed messages and broken-down traffic lights curb our love of the world out there, our hunger to experience other cultures, and our acknowledgment that our own place is only a tiny place, not the centre of the world.

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