Brits warned to book holidays abroad BEFORE green list announcement to avoid sky-high prices – at their own risk

BRITS wanting a holiday abroad this year, after months of lockdown, are being warned to book before the green list is announced, or prices will sky-rocket.

However, with only speculation about which countries will be on the green list, families run the risk of booking a destination, which is then not open to UK travellers.

The UK government is due to announce in the next few weeks, which countries Brits can travel to from May 17 without having to quarantine when returning to the country.

However, websites often use algorithms which mean as demand increases, prices also increase.

Last year, when travel corridors and travel bans were announced, holidays to the destinations jumped overnight as families rushed to get in a good deal.

Last August, flights to Portugal jumped by 500 per cent, with some costing more than £1,000 after the country was taken off the travel ban list.

TUI has warned that they have the best deals right now, before the government announcement, to destinations such as Portugal and Spain.

However, they have also said they are offering Brits with bookings a "like-for-like alternative in another country" if the destination booked isn't on the green list.

One tour operator told the Times: "I’ve sent clients quotes and they’ve asked if they should wait until the government announcement before committing.

"I tell them I’m happy to recost after the list is published, but the price will be higher.”

This has already been seen in the UK, due to staycation demand as domestic trips have either sold out or now cost families thousands for a week away.

Destinations in Europe which are likely to be on the green list, due to low Covid cases or a good vaccine rollout, include Malta, Gibraltar and Portugal.

It is worth noting that even green list destinations will still require a negative Covid test before returning and on day two, and the destinations will also need proof of a vaccine or a negative test as well.

While the government has pledged to reduce the cost of Covid tests for holidaymakers, they currently range from £45 to £60 if booking through an airline or tour operator, or £120 if doing it privately.

Travel restrictions can also change at the last minute so families are urged to book with caution.

Lee Hunt, managing director of Deven Travel, told the Telegraph that he is advising interested customers not to book just yet.

He said: “There is still so much uncertainty. We are actively putting customers off booking for this summer until the list of green countries is announced along with the associated rules. We then hope to see an influx of bookings.”

The advice is at odds with the government’s own message, with Transport Secretary Grant Shapps telling the public that they could start booking their holidays abroad earlier this month. 

Thankfully, airlines and tour operators are offering flexible bookings due to Covid, with many letting passengers move their holidays or even cancel them without fees.

TUI's Covid Promise includes free changes if you contract COVID-19 before you travel and overseas medical assistance.

Jet2's Holiday Refund Guarantee promises a quick refund to customers if the company has to cancel your holiday due to coronavirus, as well as being covered if you or someone in your group fails an airport check, like a temperature reading or COVID-19 test, and for unexpected expenses, like if your accommodation has to close during your stay.

EasyJet Holidays' a Protection Promise offers full refunds if they cancel your holiday, and will also give you a full refund on a booked holiday if you simply change your mind about going, up to 28 days before you’re due to travel.

If British Airways customers no longer wish to travel, they can change their booking for free (paying any difference in price), or they can choose to cancel their holiday and get a voucher for travel right up until April 30 2023.

We've rounded up some holiday deals to potential green list destinations, if you want to take the risk, from £185pp.

If not, there are some great UK deals to be found for the summer, including seaside breaks from £59.

Here are some of the most beautiful holiday destinations in the UK which you won't believe aren't in a foreign country.

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