The UK government have announced that they will be allowing international travel from 17th May 2021, and they have released a frankly teeny tiny list of places Brits will be allowed to travel. This includes countries that are inaccessible to tourists, and countries that aren’t allowing Britons to enter right now. Basically, unless you have trips planned to Portugal or Gibraltar, there’s no travel for you right now! You can see the full list of the 12 eligible countries on the BBC website here.
But for many families, this news brings hope. That’s because, on the bright side, travel outside of the UK is finally allowed and this list isn’t finite: it is due to be reviewed every three weeks and rumour has it that the Greek islands will be the next to receive green status, with wider Europe hoping to be eligible for travel by the main summer season. Despite many seeing this as great news (including those poor souls working within the tourism industry who have really struggled throughout the crisis) the enthusiasm for foreign holidays in the UK this year is at a low. Which is why I thought it would be an interesting time to ask the question: will you be booking a family holiday overseas this summer?
I think its a difficult situation, and I respect every family for the decisions they make about going overseas this year (or not). But we’ve decided that, if we can get away then we will. Here are three reasons we won’t be giving up on family travel this summer:
- A Return to Normality
Family travel is a key part of our identity as a family: we love to travel together and so much of our quality time is spent researching and planning trips. The boys play a huge role in our family travel, helping to chose our travel locations and map out our itineraries. In fact, the idea of our big trip to Tokyo is all their idea, and they’ve watched more Youtube videos researching the trip than I have! This year has thrown their lives into disarray: family missed, plans cancelled, months on end without schooling or social contact with their friends. Travel is their normality, and so getting back to some normality with family travel in any form is important to us. We’re already able to take day trips in our local area, and the difference this has made to the boys overall levels of happiness and wellbeing is outstanding. I can’t wait to show them the world again.
2. Green Means Go
We have already decided that, although our trips to Kos and Venice are already booked, we will only travel to a country that is on the green list. We’re relatively risk-adverse when it comes to the health of the kids, and this is the level of risk we feel comfortable with. I don’t agree with everything our government have done (actually, that would be an understatement) but you can’t argue with the numbers, and if the statistics say that the slow easing of restrictions is working then it’s working. We’re prepared to follow the science and be flexible: we’re happy to change our destination at the last minute and go wherever is on the green list. The world is our oyster, and there’s so much of it that we haven’t seen. After all, any opportunity to travel is an opportunity for adventure, and to learn about somewhere new!
3. Viva La Vaccination
Finally, both my husband and I are lucky enough to now be fully vaccinated. Because of the reduced risk of serious illness that this brings, we feel much more comfortable to travel overseas (with other safety measures, of course) than we would have had we not had the coronavirus vaccine yet. We also feel very comfortable wearing masks as a family – even the boys will happily wear them all day when we’re on days out, if they’ve needed to- so the idea of wearing masks on our travel days doesn’t phase us at all. When combined with the enhanced cleaning and additional social distancing measures that many countries are putting in place for tourists, and it is my opinion that (provided you’re sensible and follow the rules) travel should be safer than ever. We like to travel independently and off the beaten path where we can (we hire a car to explore rather than take organised day trips for example) so we will be away from people and in our own family travel bubble, aka the dream team, as much as we can anyway!
So those are our reasons, laid out in brief! What about you? Are you planning overseas family travel this summer or has the coronavirus crisis made you feel a little more cautious this year? I’d love to hear your thoughts (with no judgement either way here!)
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