SINCE lockdown was first announced back in March, it has been a little difficult to make travel arrangements.

Plans have had to be changed and flights cancelled as the coronavirus pandemic wreaked havoc on the travel industry.

Even now, England is still in lockdown and Brits are desperate to go on holiday and jet off to an exotic location for a while.

However, it’s not too late to start planning your dream trip.

Here is everything you need to know about travelling abroad, including when it’s thought we can go on holiday.

You will also find expert travel advice from a Bolton travel agent who knows which holiday deals to look out for in the coming year:

When can I go on holiday?

Currently, the rules state: “From 5 November to 2 December 2020, travelling away from home, including internationally, is restricted from England except in limited circumstances such as for work or for education.”

Travelling to take a holiday can be punished by a fine, with penalties starting at £200 and going up to £6,400.

However, England's national lockdown will end on the 2nd December and a new tiered system will be put in place for winter.

Bolton has been placed in tier three and have been told to “avoid travelling to other parts of the UK, including for overnight stays other than where necessary, such as for work, education, youth services, to receive medical treatment, or because of caring responsibilities”.

While travel abroad is not prohibited by law in tier three, it is discouraged.

Where you can is also subject to the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office travel advice for your destination and the travel corridors list.

Boris Johnson said the plan is to get the country back on the path of “normality” by Easter, thanks to the Covid-19 vaccination developments, which could mean that we could start booking holidays with confidence after this time.

However, as with everything during the pandemic these rules could change at any time and nothing is set in stone.

Where is the nearest airport to Bolton?

If you want to start planning your exotic trip abroad, you better start looking at flights from Manchester Airport which is around 17 miles from Bolton.

There are many of ways to get to and from this airport, including by bus, train, car or private hire vehicle.

Where can I go on holiday?

Even when travel restrictions lift, some countries require you to quarantine for 14 days when you get there; you may also have to quarantine when you arrive back in the UK.

The government has posted a list of 'travel corridors', which currently includes countries such as Bahrain, Cuba, The Greek Islands and many more. 

You do not need to self-isolate if you’re travelling to England from one of the countries, territories or regions listed on this page. You also must have spent the last 14 days in one of these places, or in the UK

You can view the restrictions and requirements of your specific holiday destination by visiting the gov.uk website.

Jon Thorne, Traveller Expert at Skyscanner (metasearch engine and travel agency)  commented: “Over the last few months, our data has shown that UK travellers have been extremely reactive to news around travel corridors and have adapted their search and booking behaviour to be able to get away within the rules. 

“For those looking to book in the coming weeks, booking a ‘flexible’ ticket with a provider could mean that you’re entitled to a free date or destination change if you should need it.

"We've made this really easy by highlighting flexible tickets when searching on Skyscanner which helps you to save on your tickets and be protected should the situation in your origin or destination country change.” 

Which countries and territories shall I visit?

Julie Taylor works for Travel Counsellors, an online company which allows you to choose a local travel expert to plan your getaway.

Julie is based in Bolton and has been in the travel industry for over 30 years and really knows what travel trends to look out for.

This Is Lancashire: Julie TaylorJulie Taylor

She said: “There’s never been a better time to start planning your next much needed holiday as people just need something to look forward to.

“Also, I have spent the last few weeks tirelessly looking after my clients and refunding and amending holidays that have been disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic.

“As a lot of people pushed their holidays back a year, there will be a lot less availability for 2021- so it’s a good idea to book early.”

She has booked holidays for many Boltonians during her career and said popular summer destinations for locals have always been the Greek Islands and the Spanish Islands.

In terms of summer destinations, Julie encourages holidaymakers to be on the lookout for summer cruise deals as she anticipates there will be many in the coming months.

Julie has also been booking some winter holidays for her clients and said there are currently some fantastic deals on holidays to Dubai, The Caribbean and The Maldives.

If you want Julie to be in charge of your holiday, email her at julie.taylor@travelcounsellors.com or visit her Travel Counsellor page.

How can I book an affordable holiday?
(Prices and information correct at the time of writing)

If you want to book an affordable holiday, then consider using SkyScanner.

They have a handy tool which allows you to see which countries have travel restrictions in place.

Skyscanner’s Consumer Travel Expert, Jon Thorne, said you can sign up for price alerts and newsletters in order to get the cheapest flight price possible.

Right now, there are some great flights and deals from Manchester Airport.
This Is Lancashire: Temple Bar pub in DublinTemple Bar pub in Dublin
(Photo: Geograph/Jo Turner)

In January, you can fly to Dublin for as little as £33 and flights to Germany start from around £29.

If you are hoping for an Easter break around April, when the goverment predict life will start returning to some form of normality, then there are flights to Belgium and France which start at £36.

Travel expert, Julie Taylor, explained that Boltonians book a lot of holidays to the Greek islands. 

Flights to these islands currently start at £77 if you travel in May

Other more affordable places to visit this month include Belgium (flights from £36) and France (flights from £37).

Looking ahead to the summer, there are currently some great deals in July.

Flights to Belgium and Denmark start at around £40 and you can get to Italy from £43 per ticket.

A trip to the Greek islands will also cost you £85 per person right now. 

In August, the prices are slightly higher- but you can still get to Spain for as little as £58 per ticket.

The ABTA  found that the USA and Italy are the next most popular destinations to visit; 22% of people from the North West are planning to travel to these countries in the next 12 months.

If you want to visit these locations, then it’s time to start looking out for some deals.

If you want to fly to New York in June, the prices currently stand at around £260 per person for a return flight.

For Rome, prices currently stand at around £44 per person if you were to travel early next year.

Are you planning to travel abroad next year? Let us know in the comments.