‘Not booking anything yet’ Simon Calder issues warning for city break holidays

Simon Calder says he’s ‘holding off’ booking a holiday

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Lorraine asked Simon whether it was a good time for British tourists to be booking an overseas break. The Omicron variant has threatened to derail holidays.

Simon said: “Uncertainty is certainly where we are. Let’s remember that we’re still banned from going to France.

“That was introduced because they wanted to halt the spread of Omicron, well that went well.

“We still have the most onerous and expensive testing rules anywhere in Europe and I’ve been speaking to people in various parts of the world who’ve been caught by the pre-departure tests coming back into the UK.

“Other countries putting on restrictions, for instance, this morning Cyprus said you’ve got to have a PCR test before you go to Cyprus, you’ve then got to pay for another one when you arrive and have a third test if you haven’t been boosted.

“I think we will see a number of increasing restrictions over the next few weeks.”

Simon told Lorraine: “Those of us who can be flexible and don’t need to travel in the school holidays, I’m holding off booking.

“Because although I’m absolutely sure this year is going to be far better than last year, I don’t want to be caught again as so many people have.

“It’s a question of how urgently you need to book. Of course, there are going to be great deals around.

“Holiday companies are desperate to sell you those fantastic big summer holidays right now, because frankly, they need the cash.”

He added: “Of course, normally we’d be looking at city breaks. How fantastic to go off and enjoy a lovely early spring break.

“But again with so much uncertainty, I’m not actually booking anything yet and we will, I fear, see a lot more restrictions being imposed and then again being lifted.”

For British tourists desperate to get away to catch some winter sun, Simon recommended two stunning destinations.

Although Lorraine told him she’d booked a lovely break in Orkney, Simon wasn’t as convinced by the Scottish hotspot.

The travel expert said: “What could be better than January in the Canaries? Lovely part of the world, it’s closer to the Equator than Orkney is to the North Pole.

“So while I love Orkney, I’d rather be looking forward to that fantastic sunshine. Egypt also looking absolutely lovely at this time of year.”

Simon also offered some important advice for British tourists who couldn’t wait to book their summer holiday.

He said: “If you want, as many of us do, to have something to look forward to, maybe like mine, your passport hasn’t seen much action recently and you desperately want to have that lovely July or August break to look forward to, then by all means book it.

“I’m pretty confident things will have changed. But go through a real human travel agent and book a proper package holiday.

“Your travel agent will then be able to tell you all the restrictions that might apply and if it’s a proper package holiday you know you’ve got consumer protection. Either you get the holiday or you get a full refund.”

He reminded viewers that British tourists are still unable to travel to Australia, joking: “Australia has said ‘we don’t want you. We don’t even want Lorraine!’”

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