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Everything you need to do if your holiday is cancelled because of COVID

We’re all dreaming of holiday freedom; the hot climate of a new country, the bustling crowds of a new city and the promise of ice cream for breakfast. Holidays give us the freedom to do exactly what we want and create memories that’ll last a lifetime – and like you, we’ve missed the jet setter way of life.


Travel is looking  a more hopeful prospect for all you eager holiday goers. The lifting of restrictions can mean a huge step forward but it’s also a slightly cautious step too – and it’s important to be wary of what the new kind of travel will look like post-COVID.

If your holiday has been cancelled due to COVID and you’re feeling uncertain on the next steps, here is everything you need to know.

Contact your holiday provider

The first port of call if your holiday is cancelled is to contact the provider you booked it through, whether that was independently (separate flights and accommodation) or a travel package holiday and to also contact any separately pre-booked excursions or events for your trip.

Independent holidays

Independent holidays can be slightly more of a long process when it comes to contacting and looking at your options on what to do. You’ll need to contact the flight company, accommodation (whether that’s a hotel, hostel or AirBnB), any excursions and transfers too.

The protocol of what you’re entitled to in terms of a refund or date amendment will be dependent on the provider, and what the terms and conditions state when you booked the trip. It’s worth looking at the terms and conditions prior to contacting them as an assurance to know where you stand for compensation.

It’s also worth checking if your independent providers have ATOL or ABTA protection for your trip. Both are UK financial protection schemes which protect mostly travel packages but may also apply to your providers too – and are there if travel providers fall into difficulty.

Travel package holidays

Travel package holidays can be a lot easier to contact and understand the status of your cancelled holiday as you only need to contact one provider. Many travel package holidays also have ATOL or ABTA protection already in place.

Similar to independent holidays, it’ll be down to your travel package holiday to determine whether they’re looking to refund, amend your dates or offer some other form of compensation. More information can be found here.

Pre-book excursions/events

Excursions are always one of the most exciting parts of a holiday, whether they’re a safari ride, a guided tour or going on a mountain hike. But, they’re not so great when your holiday has been cancelled due to Covid and you’re unsure what to do.

If your excursion is booked through your package holiday, you’ll be able to find all the information that way when contacting your provider. However, if it has been booked independently, you’ll need to look at the terms and conditions of the excursion and see what that provider is able to offer in terms of compensation.

Look at your options for compensation

Holiday providers can offer you a range of options in regards to compensation and that’ll be dependent on how you booked your holiday and who your provider is.

Refund or vouchers

The most popular option which many holiday goers would prefer is a refund or form of monetary compensation such as vouchers. It’s the easiest and most effective form, however, sometimes it may not be offered in full or offered at all, and that’s why other compensation methods can be put in place. If you choose the voucher choice, you’ll then have the opportunity to book your trip when Covid travel restrictions in the UK have been fully lifted.

Refunds may take a lot longer at the minute as many people are asking for them rather than amendments or vouchers so it’s important to make a note of that when you’re asking for a refund –and therefore, other options may be more suitable for you.

Amending your dates

The other option your provider may offer is amending your dates for your holiday, which can be a blessing in a sense, as you won’t need to go down the route of researching and booking another trip, and you’ll still have a holiday to look forward to. The provider may suggest dates for you to change to or give you the option to pick further into the future to give you the assurance when we can travel a little more freely after restrictions.

What if my holiday provider refuses compensation for my cancelled trip?

Although those two forms of compensation are what the majority of holiday providers should offer, this may not always be the case and they could refuse to offer it for many different reasons – such as the business going into administration.

As worrying as your provider refusing compensation may be, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll lose out on your holiday or the compensation for it. This is where having a Covid travel insurance policy can be really come in handy, and you can put it into good use.

Check what your travel insurance policy covers for

Buying travel insurance when booking your trip is the most important thing because it can really can benefit you when it comes to claiming, and especially for now if your holiday is cancelled due to Covid.

The first step before you leap into the claims process is to read your policy wordings, see what level of cover you have and where you stand in terms of cancellation cover for Covid.

If you look under the ‘Cancellation’ section on your documents, it’ll state exactly what you’re covered for in lots of different cancellation situations and if you have the grounds to make a claim.

Submit a claim with your travel insurance provider

After contacting your travel providers, reading your policy wordings and understanding what you’re covered for, you can begin the claims process. When making a claim, it’s important to submit every document you have about your holiday and to put the claim through as soon as possible, to get the quickest and most effective outcome – and so our appointed claims team won’t have to keep asking for additional documents.

But rest assured, if your holiday has been cancelled, there is always hope. You’ll be back on that plane soon, jetting off and creating stories to tell in years to come. Holiday freedom will be once more.

If you need more information about if your holiday is cancelled due to Covid, find out more on our FAQ page.

*Please note, Holidaysafe's online prices automatically include a 15% discount against our Customer Service Centre prices. This code entitles you to an additional 5% off your policy, and is a discount from the base price, not including the additional cost of optional extensions or any additional medical premium.
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