Katie Butler writes: Where has January gone? Just like that we are into February, and what an amazing January we have had at Total Travel.
As I have mentioned previously, January is ordinarily our busiest month for making new holiday bookings and we are delighted that January 2022 has not disappointed.
The relaxation of the entry requirements when returning back to England has definitely helped and confidence in travel certainly seems to be on the up.
Although it is much easier to come back to England, there are of course certain destinations that seem to be tightening the rules.
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Namely Spain (including the Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands).
Spain is one of our most popular winter holiday destinations, particularly the Canary Islands.
However, for anyone over 12, entry is now dependent on whether you are vaccinated.
If you are over 12 and not fully-vaccinated, then you will not be able to travel to Spain for leisure or holiday purposes, causing distress and confusion for those due to travel in the half-term holidays with unvaccinated teenagers.
From February 1, Spain, including its islands, have set an expiry date on the validity of vaccination status.
From this date you now need to prove it has been at least 14 days and no more than 270 days since your second dose.
If it is more than 270 days, you will need to show proof of a booster.
Children aged 12 and over are treated the same as adults and must present evidence of full vaccination to enter Spain.
Children under the age of 12, as it stands, do not need to be vaccinated and a test before arrival is not required. This of course could change.
My teens are fully-vaccinated but how can I prove this?
Children aged 12 to 15 are now able to access a NHS Covid Pass letter for international travel.
The letter will include an internationally recognised 2D barcode.
A digital solution is expected to be announced in the coming weeks.
The NHS letter can take up to seven days to arrive at your home address, so ensure you order in good time.
What is “hot” and where are people booking to go on holiday?
Bookings to travel in May of this year are strong, taking a 11 per cent share of our total bookings last week.
A further 22 per cent of bookings were made to depart within the next 12 weeks, indicating that last minute or “late deal” holidays are proving extremely popular.
We expected that once the restrictions were eased that we would have an influx of late bookings as so many of you want to get away while it is easier to do so.
Long haul holidays seem to be taking a bit of a backseat for the here and now.
However, New York was our best selling destination for next winter.
All things considered, a really busy start to the new year.
After what seems like a lifetime we are starting to enjoy people coming back to the high street and choosing to call in to see us rather than just over the phone.
It’s a really good feeling to have customers sitting waiting to be served.
■ If you have a specific travel question you would like Katie to answer in her column, please email: [email protected]