Did you miss travelling? A new phase in lifting coronavirus restrictions could make the summer vacation dreams of many travellers come true. Vaccinated Britons will be able to travel to the countries of the “yellow” list without mandatory quarantine upon return. As a result, EasyJet reported a 400% increase in reservations, while British Airways’ website traffic doubled. However, even seasoned travellers may be surprised at how much tourism has changed during the pandemic.
Nowadays, many people prefer to hire a car or take a walk rather than use public transport. In addition, mobile applications, such as contactless payment services and virtual queues at popular museums and shops, have begun to play a much larger role in organizing travel. Here’re some of the apps to install before your next trip during the Covid-19 era.
The new rules only apply to UK residents who received both doses of vaccine at least 14 days before the trip. In addition, many popular British destinations, including Spain and Portugal, have similar entry requirements. In order to prove your vaccination status, you need to install the NHS app and check if it displays a QR code – NHS COVID Pass.
A mobile boarding pass is far from new, but a true must-have on post-covid trips. Considering that the self-service baggage check-in system is actively developing at British airports, the mobile coupon will help to minimize waiting in line and personal contacts.
The coupon can be uploaded to Apple Wallet or Android Wallet, or you can download the application from your airline in advance. The latter option may benefit from new functions that air carriers add to their applications.
For example, Virgin Atlantic and Delta are jointly testing the Fly Ready service, while British Airways and American Airlines are testing the Verify service, where you can upload the covid test data required for flights between the United Kingdom and the United States.
The airline apps display the booking conditions – make sure you choose a flexible ticket, which is easier to change. In addition, you can set up notifications of flight changes and if necessary, adjust plans in time.
As you know, public transport is associated with large crowds in a confined space, which leads to an increased risk of infection. Therefore, the use of car hire for getting around the area has become the new normalcy during the coronavirus pandemic.
You can easily book car hire Manchester, London, Leeds, or Edinburgh online or through the mobile app. Of course, there are many more locations available to you throughout the United Kingdom and the world.
With a hire car, you will significantly reduce the number of contacts with people, which will reduce the likelihood of getting sick. Plus, you can travel at your own pace, and visit the places you like the most.
Even before the pandemic, unforeseen circumstances often interfered with international travel. In the new realities, canceling flights and changing government recommendations have become almost the norm.
Google Travel services will help you plan your trip correctly, taking into account all factors. If you plan to make several stops on your future trip, or if you have forgotten your travel planning skills during the pandemic, you can try TripIt.
Add confirmation of tickets, hotels, restaurants, and car hire vouchers to the app, and it will collect your trip into a single plan. In the pro version, TripIt finds alternatives to canceled flights, sends notifications about flight delays and helps navigate transfers.
In the event of a flight delay or cancellation, it’s worth having the AirHelp app on hand to simplify the process of obtaining compensation from the airline. The passenger only needs to enter information about the flight number and the problem. If the issue is successfully resolved, AirHelp takes 25% of the payment, but the user can receive a referral bonus for other passengers on the same flight.
Those looking to minimize time spent in the waiting hall can try the LoungeBuddy service. If you enter the name of the airport in the application, it will display the available business lounges, including the free ones. Then you can choose and book the room you like, pay for it, and scan the booking QR code at the entrance.
The selection of apps for finding and booking hotels is great, from Booking and Expedia to Tripadvisor and Kayak. Some of them added relevant functions. For example, the popular Sherpa module appeared on Booking: if you enter the cities of departure and arrival, the date of travel, and your citizenship, it shows all the current restrictions.
If you are not used to booking in advance, then try the HotelTonight app with special offers for the coming days. It will come in handy in case you are suddenly stuck in the city for several nights or didn’t have time to book a hotel in advance, but want to save some money.
If you are staying in a major hotel chain, ask the front desk if the hotel has an app. For example, the Digital Key from Hilton Hotels allows you to open the door to your room without contact from your smartphone, while the Bahia Principe app offers restaurant and spa reservations.
The coronavirus pandemic has given a strong impetus to the development of contactless payments – even in London, many businesses and events now refuse to accept cash. When planning a trip, connect your bank card to one of the services, for example, Apple Pay, PayPal, or Google Pay, and you can leave your bank card at home.
In order not to mess with cash, look at the offers of digital banks, such as Monzo or Revolut. Unlike traditional UK banks, they minimize or eliminate fees for using the bank card abroad. If you still need cash, Monzo allows unlimited withdrawals in the European Economic Area.