Brexit visa rules for Tenerife, insurance refund complaints and tips for trips to South-East Asia: The Holiday Guru helps out travellers with expert advice
The Holiday Guru is always on hand to answer your questions.
This week he offers advice on booking a South-East Asia backpacking trip and the post-Brexit entry requirements to Tenerife.
Q. This may sound like a pipedream, but we’d like to go backpacking in South-East Asia when travel is possible. Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand are likely candidates, but I expect they could be off the Government ‘travel corridor’ list. Is insurance offered for such an adventure?
Steve and Clare Goodwin, York.
This week the Guru offers advice on booking a South-East Asia backpacking trip. Pictured is Halong Bay, Vietnam
A. Yes. Battleface covers all destinations, including those the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office advises against non-essential travel to (battleface.com). You must comply with quarantine/Covid test requirements on return, and check entry requirements for those countries. If you travel against FCDO advice you risk invalidating cover with most other insurers. See ‘Travel Insurance’ at abi.org.uk for tips.
Q. This summer, assuming we can travel, we would like to go on an Alpine walking holiday. Can you recommend a company?
Jackie Smith, Truro, Cornwall.
A. Try Inntravel (inntravel.co.uk), HF Holidays (hfholidays.co.uk), Headwater (headwater.com), Explore (explore.co.uk) and Ramblers Walking Holidays (ramblersholidays.co.uk). Inntravel has seven-night breaks in the Bernese Oberland in the Swiss Alps from £1,020 pp without flights.
Q. My wife and I have holidayed in Tenerife over Christmas for 12 years. We have booked four months from November, but I understand there is a 90-day post-Brexit rule. Is there a way to extend this or get a refund?
Keith Morgan, via email.
One reader asks for clarification on the post-Brexit entry requirements to Tenerife
A. The strict new rule allows 90 days of travel in total across a 180-day period in the Schengen area. You may apply for a ‘Schengen tourism visa’ for stays of more than 90 days in Spain — however, this is complicated. Visit exteriores.gob.es/Consulados/LONDRES/en/Consulado/Pages/Visas.aspx, then scroll to ‘How can I apply for a Schengen tourism visa?’ and click on that for instructions. It may be better to limit your stay to less than 90 days and request a refund for unused days, which is down to the accommodation provider.
Q. I booked a Jet2 holiday to Lanzarote due to leave on December 20, but then the lockdown came in. Jet2 refunded me but Staysure, which I paid £326 for travel insurance, offered a voucher or to postpone.
I was told I had to book by January 8, which was impossible, so I accepted a voucher. This was worth just £96. I am 87 and to lose £230 is very unfair. Can you help?
P. D. Thorpe, via email.
A. Travel insurance begins the moment it is purchased, as you are covered against cancellation from that point on, so usually a ‘pro rata’ refund is offered. As a ‘gesture of goodwill’ Staysure is offering you a voucher for the full cost.
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