SINCE lockdown was first announced back in March, it has been a little difficult to make travel arrangements.

Plans have had to be changed and flights cancelled as the coronavirus pandemic wreaked havoc on the travel industry.

Even now, England is still in lockdown and Brits are desperate to go on holiday and jet off to an exotic location for a while.

However, it’s not too late to start planning your dream trip.

Here is everything you need to know about travelling abroad, including more information about when it’s thought we can go on holiday.

You will also find expert travel advice from a Hyndburn travel agent who knows which holiday destinations to be aware of in the coming year.

When can I go on holiday?

Currently, the rules state: “From 5 November to 2 December 2020, travelling away from home, including internationally, is restricted from England except in limited circumstances such as for work or for education.”

Travelling to take a holiday can be punished by a fine, with penalties starting at £200 and going up to £6,400.

However, England's national lockdown will end on the 2nd December and a new tiered system will be put in place for winter.

The whole of East Lancashire has been placed in tier three and have been told to “avoid travelling to other parts of the UK, including for overnight stays other than where necessary, such as for work, education, youth services, to receive medical treatment, or because of caring responsibilities”.

While travel abroad is not prohibited by law in tier three, it is discouraged.

The new rules state that international travel is allowed- even for those in the higher tiers.

However, where you can go is subject to the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office travel advice for your destination and the travel corridors list.

Boris Johnson said the plan is to get the country back on the path of “normality” by Easter, thanks to the Covid-19 vaccination developments, which could mean that we could start booking holidays with confidence after this time.

However, as with everything during the pandemic these rules could change at any time and nothing is set in stone.

Where is the nearest airport to East Lancashire?

Lancashire Telegraph: A plane taking off at Manchester AirportA plane taking off at Manchester Airport

(Photo: Geograph/David Dixon)

If you want to start planning your exotic trip abroad, you better start looking at flights from Manchester Airport which is around 30-50 miles from cities and towns in East Lancashire.

There are many of ways to get to and from this airport, including by bus, train, car or private hire vehicle.

Where can I go on holiday?

Even when travel restrictions lift, some countries require you to quarantine for 14 days when you get there; you may also have to quarantine when you arrive back in the UK.

The government has posted a list of 'travel corridors', which currently includes countries such as Bahrain, Cuba, The Greek Islands and many more. 

You do not need to self-isolate if you’re travelling to England from one of the countries, territories or regions listed on this page. You also must have spent the last 14 days in one of these places, or in the UK

You can view the restrictions and requirements of your specific holiday destination by visiting the website.

Jon Thorne, Traveller Expert at Skyscanner (metasearch engine and travel agency)  commented: “Over the last few months, our data has shown that UK travellers have been extremely reactive to news around travel corridors and have adapted their search and booking behaviour to be able to get away within the rules. 

“For those looking to book in the coming weeks, booking a ‘flexible’ ticket with a provider could mean that you’re entitled to a free date or destination change if you should need it.

"We've made this really easy by highlighting flexible tickets when searching on Skyscanner which helps you to save on your tickets and be protected should the situation in your origin or destination country change.” 

Which countries and territories shall I visit?

If you want to head to the most popular holiday destination, research by the ABTA (association of British Travel Agents) found that Spain was a popular holiday destination for people in the North West- 28% of holidaymakers from the North West visited Spain between August 2019 and July 2020.

If you still don't know where to visit, ask a local expert.

Lynne Jordan works for Travel Counsellors, an online company which allows you to choose a local travel expert to plan your getaway.

Lynne is based in Great Harwood and has been in the travel industry for over 22 years.

Lancashire Telegraph: Lynne JordanLynne Jordan

She believes that it isn’t too early to start planning a holiday, especially if you are planning an epic multi-centre itinerary or a big event.

Lynne added: “ I plan many complex itineraries for my customers, planning early ensures we get the best options for the hotel rooms, flight times, tours that we include in their package.”   

She said some of the most popular holiday destinations for her local customers are Spain and the Canaries, Turkey, Greece and Thailand.

In 2021, she expects popular destinations to include Ireland, South Africa, Italy and Sri Lanka- so keep your eyes peeled for any deals relating to these destinations.

If you want Lynne to be in charge of your holiday, contact her via her Travel Counsellors page.  

How can I book an affordable holiday?
(Prices and information correct at the time of writing)

If you want to book an affordable holiday, then consider using SkyScanner.

The online metasearch engine and travel agency pride themselves on finding you the cheapest flights and best deals.

They also have a handy tool which allows you to see which countries have travel restrictions in place.

Right now, there are some great flights and deals from Manchester Airport.

In January, the most affordable places to visit include Barcelona (flights start at £44), Alicante, Malaga and Alicants (flights start at £47).

In February, the cheapest place to travel to are Ireland and the Netherlands as prices to travel here currently start at £36.

In March, prices to visit Poland start at £39 and you could go to Italy for as little as £41.

The UK government predicts that April is the month when life could begin to return to normality- will you be booking a holiday around this period?

Currently, the most affordable places to visit in April (according to Sky Scanner) are Belgium (prices start from £36), France (£36) and Ireland.

Looking ahead to the summer, there are currently some great deals in July.

Flights to Belgium and Denmark start at around £40 and you can get to Italy from £43 per ticket.

A trip to the Greek islands will also cost you £85 per person right now. 

In August, the prices are slightly higher- but you can still get to Spain for as little as £58 per ticket.

The ABTA  found that the USA and Italy are the next most popular destinations to visit; 22% of people from the North West are planning to travel to these countries in the next 12 months.

If you want to visit these locations, then it’s time to start looking out for some deals.

If you want to fly to New York in June, the prices currently stand at around £260 per person for a return flight.

For Rome, prices currently stand at around £44 per person if you were to travel early next year.

 Are you planning to travel abroad next year? Let us know in the comments.