Simon Calder discusses cancelled holidays over Christmas
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Simon spoke to Eamonn as many British tourists face holiday chaos due to coronavirus restrictions. Britons are currently banned from travelling to France.
Presenter Eamonn Holmes said he was a huge advocate for booking a holiday using a travel agent.
When it comes to travel restrictions, the presenter said: “Not my problem. Why am I doing the work on behalf of travel companies?
“I happen to be a big advocate of travel agents. Something goes wrong, you like to think it’s in professional plans to put it right.”
Simon replied: “Well that is all the more in the time of coronavirus because a travel agent will be your friend all the way through it.
“And a proper human travel agent will know the rules are changings, what tests you need after coming back from Spain and so on.
“So that is a really good idea and if you book a proper package holiday then you know either the trip will go ahead or you’ll get your money back.
“So many families were going to go to the French Alps for some wonderful skiing over Christmas and New Year, the people who booked package holidays probably already got their money back.
“People who booked flights separately and accommodation and transfers are just in a right old muddle, I’m afraid.”
Simon recommended that nervous travellers book with travel agents if they want to be sure of getting their money back.
If British tourists are unable to travel due to a ban, package holiday companies should offer either a refund or the chance to rebook.
However, if it is still possible and legal to visit the destination, British tourists may struggle to get their money back.
British tourists who book everything separately will have more of an issue when it comes to getting a refund.
The presenters then asked Simon for the best value destinations for British tourists looking to travel in 2022.
He said: “Best value for money is travelling out of school holidays, anybody who can, please do.
“And just the old favourites, Portugal, Spain, Greece and Turkey are going to be really good.
“Because of course, most of lockdown, we were banned from it due to the red list.”
Simon said: “I think people are looking forward to it (travel). However, there are going to be some really serious bumps in the road.
“We are still banned from going to France. It is inexplicable why we should be because the French have got even more Omicron cases than we have starting everyday.
“But that’s what they’re doing. From 11 o’clock tonight we’re allowed back into Germany which is a move in the right direction but in France again they’re banning food and drink on the trains.
“So if you’re on a five hour train from Paris to Perpigan, you can’t have your baguette and your brie.”
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