Previously, lockdown restrictions and guidelines from the government, prevented holidaymakers from even considering the thought of leaving the country, let alone the town they live in. Grant Shapps (Transport Secretary) said that “people shouldn’t be booking holidays right now – not domestically or internationally”.

Nevertheless, this didn’t stop travel expert Simon Calder from encouraging Briton’s to book early and make the most of cheap packages – which in hindsight may have been a risk worth taking, assuming that Downing Street’s lockdown exit strategy goes to plan.

The urge to escape the reality of lockdown, has only increased for the majority of us, as the pandemic has continued to unfold across the UK. With the Prime Minister’s most recent lockdown announcement, the UK now has something to look forward to, after a long period of separation. So, as the UK now embarks on the road to freedom, what does this mean for those looking to finally escape the confines of their home?

Don’t jump the gun, the end is in sight, but the pandemic is not over yet! Despite travel agencies reporting huge surges in holidays booked overnight, the announcement of the exit strategy doesn’t change much for those looking to book a holiday, as there is still an element of uncertainty to be aware of. For the restrictions to be lifted as detailed in the plan, there are four conditions that must be met for us to all be unlocked.

When can I take a holiday within the UK?

Assuming that the conditions are met, domestic holidaymakers will be the first of those allowed to leave their home town for a coastal retreat in Cornwall, or a natural retreat in the Lake District, to name a couple of landmark destinations. This type of holiday won’t be allowed until 12th April at the earliest, given that the exit strategy is going to plan. However, these holidays will only be allowed for those lucky enough to own a holiday home in the UK. Unfortunately, for holidaymakers looking to book a hotel or B&B, they will be required to wait until 17th May at the earliest.

TMP Tip: When booking through a room sharing service such as Airbnb, ensure that you read the small print, as cancellation policies can vary from host to host.

When can I go abroad?

Just in time for Summer the UK will allow international holidays from 17th May, assuming that everything goes to plan.

The rules for international holidays are not yet known, and so, holding off from booking a summer holiday is probably advisable for now. Nevertheless, if you are eager to make the most of the great holiday deals that are currently available, we would advise that you book with an ATOL protected travel agent who has implemented flexible cancellation policies to cope with the uncertainty of the pandemic.

It is worth noting that quarantine measures aren’t going away anytime soon! Even when the government allows foreign holidays again that doesn’t mean you won’t have to stick it out at home or in a hotel for a couple of weeks…. So probably best to book British for now. Finally, holidays can often be expensive and due to the uncertainty of the current situation, it may be beneficial to spread the cost of your holiday with a loan. The Money Platform provides holiday loans – see our homepage for more details.