The experience of traveling from Point A to Point B is overwhelming and jarring, especially if, like me, you spent the past year cocooning at home. Now, because of my work, I’ve taken eight flights over the last two months, and in each instance the airports have been packed, planes full and people have resorted back to old habits of pushing and shoving with little regard for Covid etiquette.

Added to the usual disorientation of international travel is the new dimension of adjusting to your destination’s point in the Covid timeline, as the pandemic plays out at different rates. Total lockdown at your departure point might shift to a more easygoing freedom when you deplane. Then the whole thing happens in reverse. Traveling back and forth in Covid time causes a sense of whiplash as you jolt between sets of rules and regulations, based on the state of the pandemic.

When I visited New York in late March after spending months in strict lockdown in Turkey it was like getting transported to the future. Friends and colleagues in their 30s were being vaccinated, restaurants, shops and cultural sites were open, and people were socializing like it was 2019. It was exciting to be in a place with such upbeat energy and to see people in person, but it left me overstimulated and exhausted by the end.

Turkey was experiencing a huge surge in new coronavirus infections when I returned and I went straight into the most stringent lockdown of the pandemic, which meant locals were required to stay at home except for grocery shopping and medical emergencies. I was jolted back in time. Tourists were exempt from the restrictions, but the novelty of visiting empty museums and walking through deserted streets wears off quickly. After all, what is a place without its local population, its restaurants, cafes, bars and culture?

When I arrived in London, I stepped into a kind of limbo, because I had to spend the first five days in quarantine at home. I was fully vaccinated and had provided a negative test to enter the country and it didn’t feel like I would pose a risk to anyone by walking through the park or grabbing a coffee. But breaking quarantine rules comes with a hefty fine of up to 10,000 pounds, about $14,000.

I received phone calls from a government task force several times a day checking up on my whereabouts and compliance with the rules. Once, I was in an online work meeting and missed the call, which sent me into a frenzy trying to figure out whether that would get me into trouble.

After their update this week, the UK government has left Brits feeling confused over the likelihood of international travel resuming from May 17.

While the prospect of international travel was not entirely ruled out in the update, Boris Johnson did confirm that most popular holiday hotspots are currently suffering a third wave of the Covid-19 virus, and with our infections decreasing, we wouldn’t want foreign travel to cause another surge in cases.

Understandably, many people are eagerly waiting to be given the go-ahead before they book a holiday abroad. Therefore, holidays in the UK, or ‘staycations’, remain the obvious choice for those who wish to escape the same four walls they’ve been staring at for the last year.

From next week, those living in England will be able to legally enjoy a trip away from home, with campsites, caravan parks, rental cottages, and other self-contained accommodation set to reopen on April 12. Scottish residents are expected to be able to enjoy a break in Scotland from April 26, and those living in Wales were already permitted to stay in self-contained accommodation as of March 27. It has not yet been confirmed when residents in Northern Ireland will be able to do the same.

So, if you’re looking to make the most of what Britain has to offer when it comes to sun, sea, and plenty of seagulls, then make sure you protect your getaway with a staycation or UK-specific policy.

The reason it’s so important to make sure you have cover in place is that there’s still a risk that travel advice could change between now and the start of summer, and affect your trip.

So, the key things to look out for in a staycation policy are:

  • Cover for trip cancellation should you or a member of your travelling party catch Covid-19 prior to travel
  • Cover for any accidental damage to rental properties
  • Vehicle breakdown cover should something happen while travelling to your holiday destination
  • Curtailment, for example, should you catch Covid-19 and need to come home early
  • Cover for personal possessions
  • And finally, cover for medical repatriation costs

Unfortunately, no travel insurance policies are currently offering cancellation cover as a result of changes to government advice due to Covid-19. Therefore, we would strongly recommend that holidaymakers book their staycation with a provider that offers flexible cancellation terms and conditions, such as free cancellation up until 24 hours before arrival, or a guarantee that the holiday can be moved at no extra cost, should the trip not be able to go ahead due to government restrictions.

For more detailed information on the benefits of staycation cover (and a breakdown of exactly what protection you can expect from your policy) click here.