Countries across Europe are now reopening their borders to travel. This means that there could be a chance of still enjoying a European holiday in 2020. Here are a few questions answered for planning a post-pandemic getaway in Europe.
When is it okay to travel?
Many countries including France and Germany are now opening their borders. Spain will open its borders on 21st June to the UK and all EU countries, while the likes of Malta and Madeira don’t have plans to open until the 1st July. However, there are likely to still be social distancing restrictions (and in some cases mandatory two week quarantines) in place in many of these countries until August.
For this reason, it’s probably best to not book any dates sooner than August. September might be your safest bet as many facilities are likely to be open by then, resulting in less limitations when it comes to dining out or visiting attractions.
Where shall I travel to?
There are many places across Europe in which you can still catch some sun in September and even October. The more south you go, the higher the chance of sun in Autumn – destinations like the Canary Islands, Cyprus, Southern Turkey, Sicily and the Costa Del Sol still regularly receive temperatures upwards of 20 degrees Celsius in September and October.
If you’re not concerned about the sun, there are plenty of destinations in central and northern Europe that you can consider visiting. Cities like Paris, Berlin, Amsterdam, Stockholm and Dublin are all thought to be open for business in September and could be great for weekend break.
You could also consider booking a 2020 winter holiday in Europe. Ski resorts tend to open in November, so you could plan a ski holiday for the end of the year. December is meanwhile a great month for booking a city break – while flight and hotel rates can be more expensive in December, it can be worth it for the chance to see the Christmas lights and visit the local Christmas markets.
This guide at Wanderlust offers more information on which countries you currently can and can’t travel to.
Shall I book now?
With all the uncertainty, you may be wondering if it’s better to wait until August to book a last minute holiday. Last minute holidays can usually be cheaper, but as of now we still don’t know how prices are going to be affected in the next few months. They could shoot up in the next few months and you could find that last minute deals cost just as much as booking now.
Many hotels and airlines are currently taking bookings for August and September, so there’s nothing to stop you from booking now. Booking policies are very flexible right now, with many travel companies offering refundable cancellations (or the option to postpone flights/ accommodation to another date).
What can I do to keep reduce the risk of infection?
While borders may be open, it’s important to remember that the virus is still out there. If you have plans to travel in the next few months, you should be cautious.
Avoiding crowds where possible is one way to reduce infections. Many festivals and concerts this year have been cancelled, so this is unlikely to be a problem. Crowds may occur on public transport – trains and buses are still running in many places around the world and should be avoided where possible. Taxi services around Europe such as Fat Taxi Izmir, Turkey are still operating and could be a safer option if you can’t walk. Most shops are likely to continue restricting the amount of people who can enter to avoid crowds and you should be careful of entering shops that don’t restrict people from coming in and out.
There are a few basic measures that you can take to avoid infection. Carrying your own drinking bottle/portable cup could allow you to stay hydrated without having to use cups from other bars and restaurants which may be contaminated. It’s worth also carrying hand sanitizer/wipes around with you and constantly cleaning your hands.
As for avoiding the spread of the infection to others, you should make sure not to travel if you think that you may have the virus.