Holiday-makers warned against booking a trip for summer 2021. Credit: Unsplash

Martin Lewis from Money Saving Expert has said that people should only book holidays for this summer if they can afford to lose money. This comes as the Transport Secretary Grant Shapps warned “people shouldn’t be booking holidays right now – not domestically or internationally”.

Last night on his ITV1 show, Martin Lewis advised holiday-makers to refrain from booking trips for summer 2021 amid the changing coronavirus situation in the UK. “I can’t tell you whether you will be able to get a refund on that holiday or not. Insurance certainly won’t cover it,” he said, “Only book now if you could afford to lose the money.”

Martin’s advice comes as confusion surrounding summer holidays grows following conflicting announcements from government ministers. The Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said on Wednesday that people shouldn’t book domestic or international holidays right now.

The Health Secretary Matt Hancock then told the BBC that it is “too early” to know whether summer 2021 holidays can go ahead, despite revealing that he has booked a trip to Cornwall “months ago”. He said there was still “a lot of uncertainty” but assured people that the government was doing everything possible to make sure they could have a holiday.

Nicola Sturgeon also advised people in Scotland during yesterday’s coronavirus briefing, not to book holidays abroad at the moment. She says that it risks bringing new variants of coronavirus into the UK.

Ministers have been criticised by the Labour leader, Sir Kier Starmer for their handling of the situation and has urged the government to “get rid of the mixed messages” about whether people should book holidays.

Brenda Hodson has booked two trips away in 2021, one in July and the other in October.  She said the government should not be dashing people’s hopes of going away. “ I feel it’s very wrong to take away hope of a holiday,” Hodson added. “Having something to focus on is certainly helping me cope with the pandemic and is keeping my mental health stable.” 

Ministers are set to discuss the possibility of ‘vaccine passports’ that would be used to prove immunity to COVID-19. A government spokesperson told the Independent: “The UK government, like most nations, wants to open up international travel in a responsible, safe and fair manner and we continue to be guided by the science.”

Like many who are frustrated with the lack of clarity surrounding travelling in 2021, Brenda says that booking a holiday helps her to deal with the day-to-day struggles caused by the pandemic. “Deciding to plan or book a holiday gives me and my family great hope. If we cannot go then we rebook and face the problems then,” said Brenda.

In reaction to the increased demand for holidays to Greece during 2021, Jet2holidays has extended their Greek programme to mid-November, according to a statement by the travel company. More flights will be scheduled from across airports in the UK to Zante, Kefalonia, Rhodes and Crete.

Steve Heapy, CEO of and Jet2holidays said: “There continues to be enormous pent-up demand from British holidaymakers, who want nothing more than to get away to the sunshine and enjoy their well-deserved holidays. As a result of the assurance that customers get from our award-winning flights and ATOL protected package holidays, we will be continuing to respond to the demand so that when travel restarts, we can take customers from our rainy islands to their favourite holiday hotspots.”