‘OH MY GOD!’ I exclaimed after reading a WhatsApp from my mum earlier this week. ‘What’s wrong ?’ my boyfriend asked, expecting some terrible news. ‘My family are booking a holiday cottage in the Yorkshire Dales in August!’ I said. He blinked and waited for the punchline.You see, in simpler times, the different types of holiday tribes were split between those who wore kaftans and straw hats in Mykonos and those who went full Gore-Tex in the Alps. But now, things are a lot murkier: half of us fear a summer trip away could be a death sentence, while the rest are running, arms outstretched, towards any airport offering flights.
Take my family, for example: my brother was sending us links to holiday cottages the second it looked like the rules were changing. Meanwhile, my sister regards the prospect of a short break in England with the same trepidation one might feel about visiting a war zone. ‘What if you catch Covid on the train and spread it around the holiday house?’ she has asked. ‘Wouldn’t we be safer waiting until 2025 before making any firm commitments?’
Today the Government announced travel corridors with 60 different countries, including Spain, Germany, France, Italy and Greece, meaning holiday makers won't have to self isolate for 14 days on their return home. Ryanair and British Airways are planning to ramp up flights in July and EasyJet hopes to restart flights on 75% of its route network by the end of August. As of 11 July, TUI, Britain’s biggest tour operator, has announced it will restart flights to eight
But whether it’s safe to travel is another matter. And lord knows Government guidance hasn’t always been helpful. ‘Go away, but be alert and make sure you stay home,’ could very well be the gist of it from Boris Johnson. To lure holidaymakers back, Airbnb has released a hefty handbook of Covid-19 cleaning rules. They suggest hosts have full PPE on hand, including optional shoe coverings. Even so, can we trust our Airbnb hosts to be as painstakingly careful as we are? Or should we consider it pandemic over and relax into the easing of rules? Here are the five types of holidaymakers you’re likely to hear about this summer. Where do you fall on the vacation scale?
The nervous flier
Just looking at a picture of an aeroplane makes you want to wash your hands (twice, with bleach) at the thought of the germ-infested arm rests and air-con. You can’t understand why anyone would risk their life for a holiday right now. The next time you plan to venture out there’ll be snow on the ground – in winter 2022. Actually, that’s a lie, you walked to the letter box last week... in a full hazmat suit, naturally.
The thrill of renting a car and driving to the beach made you feel momentarily wild and outrageous. But was the daytrip worth the fortnight of unease that followed? You’ve told yourself a million times you disinfected the seats, the seat belts and the steering wheel – but did you wipe down the radio? You’re not sure you’re ready for this leaving the house malarkey after all.
Before the noughties there weren’t cheap flights to Porto or long weekends in Ibiza with the girls and, actually, you’re quite into the idea of a retro, ’90s British summer with no foreign trip. There’s no way you’d go near an airport just yet, but how dangerous can a cottage in the Cotswolds be?
You were so proud of yourself for getting your act together and organising your summer holiday in January. You spent February drooling over the menu of the resort’s restaurant. March to May were a haze of disappointment as your dream trip seemed to slip through your fingers. But actually, your flight’s still going. It’s probably fine... you’ll stock up on hand sanitiser at the airport. And anyway, you’ve earned a holiday: baking bread is exhausting!
The vulture tourist
You’ve been dreaming of the sun and sea and plan to get as far away as possible the second you can legally get on a plane. You can’t believe more people aren’t taking advantage of the cheap deals; what’s a coughing passenger on a 12-hour flight when there’s an infinity pool at the end of it? And if you end up catching something ? Well, lying on a sunbed sipping caipirinhas is a good way to go. ‘O