What does the remainder of 2023 hold in store for travellers? The Independent’s travel correspondent Simon Calder and travel editor Helen Coffey attempted to navigate the potential issues awaiting holidaymakers, and to share their top tips when it comes to saving on trips and travelling more sustainably, in an online Q&A event.
Fuelled by questions from The Independent’s readers, the session took in many of the hot topics that are affecting Brits’ travel plans right now. Simon outlined the Brexit red tape that UK holidaymakers’ are still struggling to get to grips with, from new passport expiry rules when travelling to Schengen countries, to the 90 in 180 rule that is scuppering British passport holders who have second homes in Europe. The travel team discussed how to get a good holiday deal amid the cost of living crisis: travel outside of school holidays, sign up to alerts from your favourite travel operators, and do a little digging if you spot a “bargain” that seems suspiciously cheap (if a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is).
To see the event in full watch the below or at the top of the article
How to be a savvy traveller in 2023 and beyond
There was also talk of sustainable travel, with Helen recommending sticking closer to home by swapping more far-flung destinations for a UK city break to ease yourself into travelling more sustainably; opting for easy-to-reach flight-free destinations on the Continent, such as Lille by Eurostar or the Netherlands via an overnight ferry; and exploring coach options such as Flixbus for low-cost terrestrial travel across Europe.
Meanwhile, Simon recommended being “positively inactive” when it comes to getting a better price on airfares to Australia and New Zealand. “In other words, don’t do anything at the moment,” he says. “The reason I say that is because yes, fares have doubled. They are through the absolute roof and that applies to pretty much any long haul flight. And that’s entirely because the airlines are seeing all this pent up demand and they are thinking, well, we could add a bit more capacity, but frankly, if people are prepared to pay these inflated figures, why would we want to do that?
“However, things will be moving in the right direction, so have no fear.” He recommended looking from November onwards for January and February flights to Australasia.
The good news for travellers looking to save? Prices may have soared, but “there are still deals to be had,” says Simon. “We were told that the days of the £10 flight are over. Well, they’re not – but of course, it involves jumping through many, many hoops in order to get those deals…”