After more than a year of travel frustration, it seems Brits can finally begin planning their getaways for Summer 2021. With ever-changing restrictions and the world of tourism now very different, what will UK travellers be choosing to do?
A recent OnePoll survey suggests priorities have shifted and many savvy travellers will be hoping to:
- Do something different. Around 12% of Brits are keen to visit somewhere they’ve never tried before.
- Push the boat out. One in ten say they are prepared to spend a little more to upgrade their experience and treat themselves.
- Travel together. Many are keen to take friends or extended family along, as time with loved ones feels even more precious after so long apart.
Restrictions mean some lesser tried destinations will stand out from the crowd this year, both in and outside of Europe. Smart travellers might think outside the box and try a Bareboat yacht charter in the BVI for the ultimate bubble getaway.
First things first, what are British travellers likely to be permitted to do? The UK Government have recently announced a ‘traffic light scheme’ detailing conditions for those returning from a range of destinations.
As of May 2021, just 12 countries are on the UK’s Green list and only four of those currently accept UK visitors. Portugal, Iceland, Israel, and Gibraltar are all welcoming British tourists subject to vaccine and testing requirements.
The majority of destinations currently sit on the Amber list, with the expectation that these will begin moving to Green over time. Alongside much of Europe, Africa, and the Indian Ocean, almost all Caribbean destinations, including the British Virgin Islands (BVI), fall into this category.
More freedoms are also likely to be offered to fully vaccinated visitors. For instance, vaccinated travellers to the BVI will be released from any quarantine the moment their first negative test is confirmed.
Popular European destinations such as Greece, Spain, Turkey, Italy, Cyprus and France are all making their own plans for UK visitors. Some are hoping to accept testing or vaccinations alone, others will be stricter.
There is also uncertainty regarding how restrictions such as masks and social distancing in public spaces will be imposed and changed at any time. For many, this makes the idea of setting out to sea to explore tranquil islands on private yacht holidays more appealing than ever.
So, with all this taken into consideration, what are the best options for Brits looking to book a long-awaited holiday this summer?
As the only traditional European sun and sea destination currently on the Green list, this will be number one for many Brits this year. Bookers will expect to pay a premium though, especially for locations along the ever-popular Algarve coast.
Portugal offers the chance to combine grazing boutique restaurants with relaxing on hidden cove beaches and exploring sea caves accessible only by canoe. Visitors can also spend time wandering medieval castles and palaces in colourful and historic cities such as Lisbon and Porto.
Though travel may be affected by the changing state of hostilities in parts of the country, Israel will see a spike in visitors this summer. Vibrant and cosmopolitan Tel Aviv will combine well with historic Jerusalem and the unique experiences offered at the Dead Sea.
Beautiful Tel Aviv is a high-end arts and entertainment destination lined with miles of sandy beach, as diverse and exhilarating as any European capital. Further afield, travellers can tour the holy lands of the three big monotheistic religions, or float serenely in the lowest sea on earth.
Not everybody is looking for sun, and Iceland’s volcanic moonscape will provide a very different experience. Iceland offers dramatic geological features, a bustling artistic capital city in Reykjavik, and relaxing days at naturally heated thermal spas.
Visitors can walk on black sand beaches or soak in the rejuvenating waters of the famous Blue Lagoon. Excursions are offered to see explosive geysers, spot whales, or even step onto a glacier to witness the Northern Lights.
The British Virgin Islands
Island nations such as those in the Indian Ocean or the Caribbean are able to control COVID-19 outbreaks more easily. These tropical paradise destinations are likely to be amongst the first allowing free travel from and to the UK.
The soft sands and warm waters of the British Virgin Islands offer a huge array of experiences to visitors. Travellers can explore incredible natural beauty or simply soak up the sun with a rum punch or locally brewed beer.
The National Marine Park built around the sunken wreck of the RMS Rhone is an underwater paradise for scuba divers and snorkellers alike. Devil’s Bay Beach on Virgin Gorda hosts epic and mesmerising boulder formations visitors can tip-toe through the water’s edge.
The BVI also offer a unique opportunity for friends or extended family to quite literally take themselves away from everything. Hiring a luxury yacht and sailing it out on blue seas to explore the varied islands of the region might just be the perfect 2021 escape.
While 2021 is likely to be an unusual summer by traditional standards, Brits will have several options to take a deserved break this year. The key will be to think beyond the usual and find the trip which best suits each family and individual.
One thing is certain, Brits have been waiting a long time for this summer to come. It has never been a better time to jump in with both feet and do something new.