Travel firms confident they can bounce back this summer

According to travel experts, the possibility of higher airline ticket prices will not deter most people from travelling abroad this year.

“The need for human connection, as we’ve all been isolated for so long… Everyone is desperate to meet other people and have new experiences,”.
Expeect to see a “massive surge in bookings” in recent months, and that people are so desperate to get away that they won’t mind paying more for their flights, if aviation fuel prices rise as a result of the sanctions against Russian oil exports.

“Over the last couple of years we’ve gone from not being able to travel at all, to spending hundreds of pounds on Covid tests each time we want to leave the country,”.
“After all that, I don’t think increases to flight prices will stop ‘Flashpackers’ [or other holidaymakers] from doing something they’ve been dreaming about.”

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Within the travel industry, the past two years have been especially difficult for independent firms, as they don’t have the deep pockets of the multinationals. Yet those that we spoke to are now confident that the holiday sector is going to strongly recover.

“Ninety five per cent of our revenue just disappeared,” said one travel agent.
“We were left with a big office in central London, 55 staff, big overheads, and no money coming in.”

The firm was in administration for a few months before the couple were able to win it back after re-mortgaging their home and paying back customers who had been owned money.

“It’s really encouraging to see the business taking off again,”.”And we’re already on track to hit pre-pandemic levels by 2023. Booking on both sides of the Atlantic is booming, but Covid restrictions remain challenging, and we have had to become experts on them.”
“Our customers aren’t so concerned about rising costs of flights,” she says. “Covid meant that some of them haven’t managed to go on holiday abroad for over two years. So, it may cost them a bit more now, but they have the money to spend and want to get away.”

What to pack on holiday and do you need travel insurance?

Appropriate clothing

To pack well, carry what you normally wear, not what you would like to wear and have not dared before using. Going comfortable is important and it is not the time to experiment. A good trick to make luggage is to make sets of clothes, that is, to wear clothes that combine with each other so that you do not stop putting something on because it does not combine. Thus, if you are only going to travel a few days, you can make daily sets using several articles several days.

If it is a long trip, load with shirts, knickers, dresses, skirts or shoes that can combine well with each other. Also, think that laundries exist all over the world and that clothes can be washed and thus avoid going very heavy. If you are going to visit lots of temples, such as on a trip to India, remember to pack a scarf for modesty. 

Electronic equipment

Here we will talk about those teams that have become part of everyday life and that require certain things to use. So do not forget to put in your suitcase the charger for the camera, laptop, and cell phone and if necessary, an external battery. And remember to check before leaving if it is necessary to carry an adapter according to the type of the plug of the place you will visit.

Remember that electronic equipment must be very well packed, to avoid damage. Good advice is to carry them in your handbag or in a suitable backpack to protect them. And so, do not check these items in the hold baggage. If you have no choice but to carry some of them inside the suitcase, remember to put them in the heart of the luggage, surrounded by clothes that can mitigate any impact. Your electronic staff is one of the most important things in the list of what to pack for holiday.

Basic prevention kit

It is always necessary to carry a small first aid kit when you travel, to face small unforeseen events. Keep in mind that if you do not check luggage you cannot carry liquids of more than 100 ml or scissors. We recommend some pain reliever, bandages, antihistamines, antibiotics, mosquito spray if you take medication for specific control of any disease, take enough for the trip, sunscreen, moisturizer in case of sunburn.

Accessories that can be very helpful

Front light, Eye mask, Headphones, Reusable water bottle, Book / Kindle (try some of these Travel books that will inspire you and will bring you the adventure), Snacks, padlock, and plugs.

Money and cards

Remember that some hotels and car rentals ask for a credit card as a guarantee, and you never know when an unforeseen event appears.

Toilet bag with travel kit and liquids kit

Although in many hotels they offer it, it is better to be prepared according to what you need for your hygiene. Among them: toothbrush and toothpaste, deodorant, moisturizer, soap, etc.

Passport and documentation

Remember to verify the required documentation. And have the documents in order to have no problems at the time of the trip. For some counties you might need a visa.

Back in 2019, Edinburgh-based Flavours operated 235 Italian and Spanish trips, but then none from March 2020 to September 2020.

To secure an alternative revenue stream the firm started running online classes, so that people from all around the world could learn how to paint, or taste wine, from the comfort of their own home. The firm ended up holding around 80 Zoom classes a month.

“It was a great way to keep a sense of community alive with our guests,”. “Some formed friendship groups online, and then organised to go on one of our holidays together [when they started up again in limited numbers in the autumn of 2020].”

The firm’s bookings for 2022 are now “getting back to 2019 levels”. She adds: “It’s clear that after two years people are really keen to travel again. The conversations are much more positive with people accepting testing requirements, and realising that it’s just part of travel post-Covid.”
Most people now just want to go on overseas holidays again. “Based on the interest in our 2020 holidays I think everyone is just ready for an adventure,” she says.

Before the pandemic struck, she was organising 70 trips a year. Then in March 2020 she was in Norway preparing one of her firm’s holidays when the country went into lockdown.
“I had to go into quarantine, and my guests were due to come over in two days for a week’s cross country ski and yoga holiday… but people were being turned away at the airport,”/
She had to shut up shop for five months, before offering a handful of trips across the later half of 2020 and last year.

“My whole identity was in my business – it was the thing I’d put all my passion and energy into for previous two and a half years,”. “But then slowing down for two years was a great opportunity to perfect what we offer our guests, and now we are in a great place to grow the company sustainably.

“I’m excited to now run more trips to meet our community’s demand, allowing more women to connect with each other and nature.”

Despite this optimism, some working in the travel sector remain cautious. “Having endured the impact of a worldwide pandemic over the past two years, those travel businesses that have survived are now facing further challenges on several fronts,” he explains.

“The huge increase in the cost of living, particularly energy and fuel, coupled with inflationary food and drink prices, is likely to impact the outbound market in the immediate term. The indications are that the domestic market, with people sticking to affordable holidays and short breaks in the UK, is predicted to benefit most in 2022.”

Running a travel business means you always have to be adaptable. “It’s not going to be a straight line, it’s always going to be a bit bumpy. Whether it’s a new variant of Covid, or something else, you always have to look for new ways to keep your community together.”

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Dan Dunn
Executive Managing editor

Editor and Admin at MarkMeets since Nov 2012. Columnist, reviewer and entertainment writer and oversees all of the section's news, features and interviews. During his career, he has written for numerous magazines.

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