If you’re bothered by Covid-19 at home, don’t travel, if not, get yourself away for a week, says The Travel Snob, David Walker, a homeworker for Not Just Travel based in Nottingham

Last year, four of us from three households booked a villa in Portugal for this week. Then it happened… none of us knew if there’d be a summer and we moved the villa to 2021.

Then it looked as if France would be open, so we found a beautiful ‘mansion’, fully refundable, and a refundable ferry. Then flights to Spain were taking off, so we cancelled and booked to Menorca!

Next was quarantine rules for Spain, but the Foreign Office said you can go to the islands. That was Saturday, but by the Monday we were looking for our fourth destination, and here I sit on the beach… in Turkey.

Are people crazy to go away this summer? I stand by my guns that, as an agent, it’s not my responsibility to advise if it’s a good or bad idea. If a customer wants to go, I’m prepared to book. If they need guidance on quarantine, I can tell them the current situation. But I can’t guarantee it won’t change.

Ready, or not

We got here on Saturday and, seriously, it appears as if Covid is a thing of the past. If you wash your hands every minute, wear a mask to bed, don’t hug anyone or go to people’s houses, glare at others not wearing masks and run to the toilet every time you hear someone cough, then you’re not ready to go away. If, like me, you’re a little blasé about the situation but obey most rules, then get to Turkey!

“Every other seat in the departure lounge was blocked off – but 30 minutes later and you’re sitting next to a stranger on a plane.”

Checking into Birmingham airport at 4am was the biggest culture shock. Big signs tell you to wear a mask and sanitise your hands as often as possible.

It was like a ghost town (maybe because it was 4am) with just a few flights going out. Every other seat in the departure lounge was blocked off – but 30 minutes later and you’re sitting next to a stranger on a plane. Queuing to board there was no social distancing, despite signs everywhere. Of course, we all know the closer you get to the aircraft the earlier your holiday starts… or something like that. On board, I fell asleep with my mask on so didn’t really notice any differences.

Get back to normality

Forms weren’t taken very seriously in Dalaman. It’s simple, one for each passenger, but you could put whatever you wanted as you just drop them in a cardboard box – no emails, QR codes, pre-testing or temperature checks, just a bit of paper you fill out with a biro.

We had a private transfer, on which we weren’t required to wear masks, but we had our temperatures tested via the forehead at the hotel (I always feel the need to smile as if I was having my photo taken!).

“We had a private transfer, on which we weren’t required to wear masks, but we had our temperatures tested via the forehead at the hotel.”

The Jiva Beach Resort is as full as it can be right now. Before you enter a restaurant your temperature is checked. You have to queue for everything at the breakfast buffet but everything is being done to make it work. Hand sanitiser was dotted around, but not with emergency lighting pointing you in its direction.

If you’re bothered by Covid at home – then don’t travel. But if you want to get back to normality, why not escape for a week or so? Will there be consequences when we get back? Who knows, but for this week at least it’s lovely to get away. Next month, Greece!


Drinks

Like any other all-inclusive

We were at the bar making our way through the cocktail menu when it started to sink in. Was Covid-19 over here? Other than staff wearing masks (but not socially distancing from each other) it was like any other all inclusive package I’ve ever been on before.

“Other than staff wearing masks (but not socially distancing from each other) it was like any other all inclusive package I’ve ever been on before.”

People were chatting to each other on sunbeds, by the bars, sharing their drinks, and of course, it’s 34C, so you’re constantly wiping the sweat from your forehead – although that was mainly me. Drinks were being passed to each other from one hand to another and no one was rushing to find the nearest bottle of hand sanitiser.

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